Nathan Oxley

Nathan Oxley

Communications and Impact Manager

Nathan contributes to the impact, communications and engagement work of the STEPS Centre. He is also a web editor for the Future Agricultures Consortium. He has worked for a specialist communications agency on sustainable development, and as a web editor for a national charity in the UK.

  • Brexit and development

    Published on 27 June 2016

    Brexit graffiti

    As Britain faces the prospect of leaving the European Union, here’s a couple of blog posts on what the referendum result might mean for the UK’s role in international development.

    Ian Scoones on Brexit and Africa: Why Britain’s Decision to leave the EU is bad news for Africa 

    “The decision will fundamentally affect the continent’s relationship with Britain. It will have an impact on trade, aid and diplomacy. And, with Britain going it alone, the moderating influence of the EU will be lost.”

    Read the full blog

    Melissa Leach on Brexit and the future of the UK’s international development agenda

    “There are major implications for global geo-politics and governance, as the post-war European project declines at the same time as other powers and networks – from a changing US and Russia to the BRICS and China’s ‘one road, one belt’ initiative and more – rise to prominence on the world stage.”

    Read the full post on the IDS website


  • Ebola initiatives win ESRC Outstanding International Impact Prize

    Published on 22 June 2016

    The Ebola Response Anthropology Platform (ERAP) and the related Ebola: lessons for development initiatives have won the prestigious Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Outstanding International Impact Prize. The team comprised leading anthropologists from the Institute of Development Studies and its partners, led by IDS director and former STEPS director Melissa Leach.

    The initiative built on an extensive history of research, including contributions from ESRC-funded STEPS Centre work on how social and natural scientists could work together to prepare and respond to zoonoses and infectious diseases in developing countries.

    Read a case study on the ESRC website.


  • 5 challenges for Least Developed Countries in the post-2015 era

    Published on

    Solar home system training in Bangladesh

    2016 has been a big year for international agreements on development. New Sustainable Development Goals and targets were agreed. The Paris Agreement, the strongest statement for some time on climate change action, was signed.

    But if the aspirations in them are to be fulfilled, hard work is needed. This hard work should benefit the poorest people in the world as well as those better off. At a debate last week on the Least Developed Countries and the SDGs, organised by IIED, the STEPS Centre and the Least Developed Countries Independent Experts Group, we discussed how this might happen. Here are five challenges which reflect some of the debate.


  • Painting a new picture of development

    Published on 17 June 2016

    Mobile phones on sale in the Congo

    Can the Sustainable Development Goals trigger a new approach to development in the world’s Least Developed Countries? On Monday, Least Developed Country experts from around the world gathered in London for a dialogue event to discuss how the world’s poorest countries relate to the new global goals.

    Organised by the Least Developed Countries Independent Expert Group, IIED, and the ESRCs STEPS Centre, the event discussed the challenges and opportunities created by the SDGs, and asked whether the momentum created in 2015, with international agreement on the SDGs and the Paris Agreement on climate change, could help deliver real transformation.


  • How do we reform fossil fuel subsidies?

    Published on

    The idea of reforming fossil fuel subsidies is attracting attention in both academic and policy circles. The environmental and economic aspects of subsidies and their reform have been much debated, but the political aspects are less prominent in the discussion.

    STEPS member Peter Newell gave a keynote talk at ‘The Politics of Fossil Fuel Subsidies and Their Reform’ – a Lund University and Stockholm Environment Institute workshop – on 16 June 2016 in Sweden. The workshop aimed to address the political causes, consequences and normative implications of fossil fuel subsidies and the emerging efforts to reform them.

    Peter’s talk was called ‘The Political Economy of Incumbency: Beyond Fossil-fueled Capitalism’. The video of it is below.


  • Explainer: Sustainable Development Goals and Least Developed Countries

    Published on 6 June 2016

    The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) could provide an opportunity for radical transformation in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). But with hundreds of targets, attempts to implement the goals could be mired in bureaucracy. Could the SDGs, instead, open up a political space to rethink current patterns of development?

    Ahead of a dialogue event in London on 13 June 2016, here’s our take on some of the key terms and ideas involved.


  • Learning from the past about rapid transition

    Published on 2 June 2016

    What can history teach us for the task of rapid transition in the face of climate change and corrosive inequality? Historian Molly Conisbee, a speaker at this week’s Transformations events at the Hay Festival, has written about how communities adapted during Britain’s dramatic urban growth and upheaval in the 18th and 19th centuries.

    In a blogpost for the New Weather Institute, Molly reveals how people shared idle assets, reducing the need for ‘stuff’ and spread financial risks, for example by setting up women-run ‘Weather Clubs’ used for mutual saving. The struggle for greater economic, political and social equality, she finds, must be at the core of any resilient or rapid transition.

    Read Molly’s full blogpost on the New Weather Institute website

  • Report: Transforming global food systems from uniformity to diversity

    Published on

    A report published today written by food security and nutrition experts proposes that input-intensive crop monocultures and industrial-scale feedlots must be consigned to the past in order to put global food systems onto a sustainable footing. Prof Melissa Leach, former STEPS Director and now Director of the Institute of Development Studies, was a member of the panel who commented on the report and helped to shape it.

    ipesThe report argues for diversifying agriculture and reorienting it around ecological practices, whether the starting point is highly-industrialized agriculture or subsistence farming in the world’s poorest countries.

    The report is published by the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food), led by Olivier De Schutter, former UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food.

    Download the report

    From Uniformity to Diversity: A paradigm shift from industrial agriculture to diversified agroecological systems’ (pdf)

    Find out more

    IPES-Food website

  • Call for papers: Transformations 2017

    Published on 11 May 2016

    A call for papers has been issued for the Transformations 2017 conference in Dundee, UK.

    Transformations 2017 is the third in a biennial series of international interdisciplinary conferences that focuses on transformations towards sustainability: addressing contemporary challenges and creating conditions for enhancing people’s wellbeing, today and in the future, while strengthening the Earth’s support system.


  • Seeking sustainable transformations around the world

    Published on 3 May 2016


    The new ‘Pathways’ Network, which explores transformations to sustainability in 6 cases around the world, had its opening workshop in Buenos Aires on 24-27 April 2016.

    At the workshop, participants from Sweden, South Africa, and ‘hubs’ in Kenya, the UK, Argentina, USA/Mexico, India and China discussed research questions and how best to share learning.