New report reveals the impact of global crises on international development

September 28, 2011

Global crises and the slow burn of climate change are having a profound impact on the lives and livelihoods of poor people around the world, and bringing into question core ideas about what development is and how it happens, according to a new report.

'Time to Reimagine Development?' is the latest issue of the IDS Bulletin, the flagship journal from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), published by Wiley-Blackwell.

The report draws on 20 case studies from around the world, ranging from the experience of in Brazil, to feedback from , researchers and at a workshop in Ethiopia.

These case studies looked at how different groups in different places responded to the crises, including the , civil society, government, faith-based groups, students, and aid donors. The report challenges core development and ideas, and concludes:

  • is not always a force for good – while there is no alternative to growth, there are alternative forms of growth and as with technology, it is how it is governed that matters.
  • Civil society did not deal well enough with mega-shocks – case studies found that civil society did not sufficiently rise to the challenge or opportunity afforded by the crises.
  • The nation state is more relevant than multilateral mechanisms – global agreements on climate, trade and drugs do not drive national behaviour but national alliances supply oxygen and credibility to global agreements. Several case studies showed how national self interest will continue to undermine collective action that is in the long term interest of all.
Professor Lawrence Haddad, Director of the Institute of Development Studies and co-editor of 'Time to Reimagine Development?' said:

'The global crises of the past four years and the slow burn of have called into question the way we live, and have had fundamental impacts on international development. But this research shows that although some new ideas have emerged, they have struggled to dislodge established concepts and become embedded in development thinking.

'It is clear that the emerging powers – such as China, India and Brazil – and the new aid donors and philanthropists are not necessarily going to forge different paths. And it remains debatable whether development thinking is any better suited now for coping with unforeseen crises than it was before 2008.'

Explore further: How young adults cope with employment uncertainty

Related Stories

How young adults cope with employment uncertainty

May 23, 2007

Young adults don’t necessarily have ‘identity crises’ when it comes to flexible labour markets and job insecurity, concludes a new study published by Bristol University. The study, Constructing coherence: young adults’ ...

EPA releases report on climate change and health

July 17, 2008

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released a report that discusses the potential impacts of climate change on human health, human welfare, and communities in the U.S. The report, entitled "Analyses of the Effects ...

Smaller companies hit hardest during emerging market crises

June 21, 2011

A study of the reaction by the United States stock market to international financial crises shows that small companies are often hit hardest, and the impact is above and beyond what would be expected given their exposure ...

World survey suggests major technology changes

August 24, 2011

A new global survey by the United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA) suggests that a technological overhaul of production processes worldwide is needed to end poverty and avert the likely impacts ...

Recommended for you

Amateur paleontologist finds rare fossil of fish in Arizona

September 3, 2015

Growing up, Stephanie Leco often would dig in her backyard and imagine finding fossils of a tyrannosaurus rex. She was fascinated with the idea of holding something in her hand that was millions of years old and would give ...

X-rays reveal fossil secrets

September 3, 2015

A sophisticated imaging technique has allowed scientists to virtually peer inside a 10-million-year-old sea urchin, uncovering a treasure trove of hidden fossils.

Early human diet explains our eating habits

August 31, 2015

Much attention is being given to what people ate in the distant past as a guide to what we should eat today. Advocates of the claimed palaeodiet recommend that we should avoid carbohydrates and load our plates with red meat ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.