How could camel milk change the fortunes of Gujarat’s pastoralists?

by Ranit Chatterjee, Rohit Jha, Sahjeevan, Shilpi Srivastava, Lyla Mehta, Nobuhito Ohte, Shibaji Bose, TAPESTRY project Kachchh is a dryland in Western India with a dynamic ecosystem. The livestock-based economy has always been one of the most important sources of livelihood for people there. In this arid to semi-arid region, pastoralism has been practiced for…

Faced with devastating cyclones, how are women in coastal Bangladesh building resilience?

by Sumaiya Binte Anwar and Mahmuda Akter, Research Officers, ICCCAD In recent years, cyclones have battered the coastal fringes of Bangladesh, with one following closely after another. In Satkhira district, a combination of tidal flooding, inundation by storm surges, and saltwater intrusion has led to a rise in salinity in groundwater and fresh-water ponds. This…

Herder with a flock of sheep in a dryland landscape, with sun setting behind mountains in the background

Beyond the ‘Balance of Nature’: Pastoralists’ Alternative Perspectives on Sustainability

By Ian Scoones and PASTRES Read the original blogpost David Attenborough’s mission to restore the balance of nature in the documentary A Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement, is at once inspiring and concerning. What if the balance of nature doesn’t exist? What if this mission is misplaced? PASTRES lead researcher Ian Scoones, in a recent…

Buba river

Degrowth and the pluriverse: continued coloniality or intercultural revolution?

by Saurabh Arora and Andy Stirling UPDATE – 12 May 2021: Timothée Parrique, researcher and author on degrowth, has posted a response to this essay on his website. “And then all helplessly we peered into those Other-worlds, and wailed, “O World of Worlds, how shall man make you one?”” W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of…

Challenging power through methods

By Linet Mwirigi, Maureen Kabasa, Kennedy Mbeva and Joel Onyango In every sphere of life, different methods and power relations are at play. The dynamics and dimensionality of power and methods are evident in different disciplines, more so in research and academia. Historically, the seat of power in research is seen to be the global…

Round icon with colours representing the Sustainable Development Goals

To meet the Sustainable Development Goals, we must transform innovation

By Saurabh Arora and Andy Stirling This blogpost is republished from STRINGS (Steering Research and Innovation for Global Goals). In 1925, Mahatma Gandhi famously included ‘science without humanity’ and ‘knowledge without character’, alongside ‘politics without principle’ and ‘commerce without morality’ in listing Seven Social Sins. Today, we can see these social sins of Modernity as central to unsustainability,…

waves on a beach

Waves of challenging research for sustainability

by Patricia Pérez Belmont, Umbela Transformaciones Sostenibles How can research methods inform and catalyse change towards more sustainable worlds? Last month, the STEPS Centre held an online event to launch a series on the theme of ‘Challenging Research’. Over the last 15 years, STEPS has worked to shift discourses on the politics of sustainability to…

DNA strands

A crossroads for ‘genome editing’ in Europe – questions, options and dilemmas

A new policy briefing on genome editing discusses choices and dilemmas facing policy makers and societal stakeholders in the European Union and the United Kingdom. The UK is considering changing its rules on ‘genome editing’ of crops, which would mean these technologies would be less tightly regulated than in the EU. A public consultation ends…

Buba river

How do we ‘decolonise’ research methodologies?

by Nora Ndege and Joel Onyango, Africa Research and Impact Network / African Centre for Technology Studies This blog post is part of the STEPS Centre’s 2021 theme on Methods. Researchers and the research community are increasingly asked to reflect on various research methods that can have positive outcomes and impacts on society, and challenge…

Change mural

Post-pandemic transformations: new directions for development studies?

by Melissa Leach, Hayley MacGregor and Ian Scoones Does the pandemic reveal new directions for development studies? This was the focus of discussion at a recent IDS seminar. A new paper in World Development on ‘post-pandemic transformations’ by a group of us at IDS was the starting point. Although the pandemic is far from over, some…