Global Development Institute Blog

Global Development Institute Blog

We’re the Global Development Institute at The University of Manchester: where critical thinking meets social justice.

Against the odds? Democracy counters dominance in Zambia’s 2021 election

Against the odds? Democracy counters dominance in Zambia’s 2021 election

Kate Pruce, ESRC Research Fellow, Global Development Institute, Hangala Siachiwena, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Cape Town and Marja Hinfelaar  Director of Research and Programs at the Southern African Institute for Policy and Research, SAIPAR

On 12 August 2021, Zambians went to the polls for the country’s eighth presidential election (and sixth general election). From a wide field of 16 candidates, the leading contenders were the Patriotic Front (PF) party’s President Edgar Lungu and Hakainde Hichilema, from United Party for National Development (UPND). Following an extremely tight race between these two rivals in the previous election in 2016, which Lungu narrowly won with 50.35% of the vote, tensions were high. In the early stages of August’s election count, the incumbent President was trailing behind opposition leader Hichilema and claiming that the elections were “not free and fair”. Initially, Lungu looked set to reject the results citing incidents of violence and allegations of fraud. However, after a weekend of tension and behind-the-scenes negotiations, Lungu conceded defeat on 17 August. read more…

What’s so special about contemporary megaprojects?

What’s so special about contemporary megaprojects?

Seth Schindler, Senior Lecturer in Urban Development and Transformation, Global Development Institute, Simin Fadaee, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, The University of Manchester, and Dan Brockington, Professor, The University of Sheffield

A seismic shift?

We live in an age of megaprojects whose unrivalled ambition and scope would make even the most committed mid-20th century modernization theorist blush. In 2013 Chinese President Xi Jinping launched the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the most ambitious infrastructure megaproject in history, which aims to dramatically expand China’s influence in global production and trade networks. read more…

Older people’s contribution to development

Older people’s contribution to development

Dr Tanja Bastia, Reader, Global Development Institute and Dr Matthew Walsham, Research Associate, South-South Migration Hub, Global Development Institute

As we celebrate the International Day of Older Persons, we pause to reflect on the many contributions that older people make to development. We both work on ageing and migration, albeit in different contexts (Tanja in Bolivia, in Latin America and Matthew in Uganda, in Africa) and on different types of migrations (Matthew on internal migration and Tanja on cross-border migration). However, over the course of our projects, we found many themes in common. read more…

L.O.A.Ns – Leash On African Nations

L.O.A.Ns – Leash On African Nations

Nana Agyeman, MSc. Development Economics and Policy, Global Development Institute

Much of the conversation around debt in Africa has been about its growing size, while very little attention has been paid to the terms and conditions under which African countries borrow. The devil they say is in the details, so it is critical that we understand both sides of the crippling debt story. read more…

Understanding dramatic change in the UK’s International Development NGO sector

Understanding dramatic change in the UK’s International Development NGO sector

Nicola Banks, Senior Lecturer, Global Development Institute and Dan Brockington, Professor, The University of Sheffield

The last 18 months have been some of the most challenging ever for the UK charitable sector, especially those working in international development. As the dust from 2018’s catastrophic safeguarding scandals began to settle, the Covid-19 pandemic hit globally. As demand for charities’ services increased, their work and incomes were hit by the lockdowns and unprecedented economic decline that accompanied the pandemic. Against this background of instability, the UK government reduced its ODA expenditure commitment and slashed provisions to many development charities. read more…

Football, social media and the far-reaching power of development language

Football, social media and the far-reaching power of development language

Isis Barei-Guyot, PhD researcher, Global Development Institute 

The day after the UEFA European Football Championship Final I hesitantly opened my social media apps to take stock of the aftermath of England’s loss against Italy. Two stories took prominence in the news; the online racial abuse levelled at the England players who had missed penalties, and the shocking amount of litter left on England’s streets by football fans. read more…

From Global Britain to Little England

From Global Britain to Little England

David Hulme, Professor of Development Studies, Global Development Institute

The hypocrisy could not be greater. While Boris Johnson chaired the G7 meeting, and waxed lyrical about what the UK will contribute to reducing the impacts of Covid-19 and climate change in poorer countries, his government is systematically dismantling some of the world’s most effective poverty reduction programmes. read more…

Global value chains, private governance and multiple end-markets: insights from Kenyan leather

Global value chains, private governance and multiple end-markets: insights from Kenyan leather

Giovanni Pasquali, Research Associate, Global Development Institute

The recent growth of South-South trade and talks about the ‘great convergence’ between developing economies in the global South and developed ones has sparked increasing attention among development studies scholars. The GDI has been at the forefront of ground-breaking research evaluating the economic and social impact of this phenomenon. In particular, the work of Khalid Nadvi, Stephanie Barrientos, and Rory Horner has significantly contributed to understanding the different value chain configurations of global value chains across Northern and Southern end-markets, as well as their consequences for firms and workers. read more…

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