Mapping exercise in Cambodia

Putting research to use in addressing complex development challenges: are we ready?

by Marina Apgar and Boru Douthwaite The Sustainable Development Goals provide a framework that may open up space to move beyond the siloes of disciplines and sectors. Those of us inclined to see development as systemic and who, through our research practice, engage with stakeholders in the messiness of uncovering solutions to seemingly intractable problems…

Discussion round a table

Rethinking transformative pathways to equitable growth in Kenya: key research options for the Kenya’s Newton Utafiti Fund

Kenya has witnessed a proliferation of research interventions on both international and national fronts. The country is a host to renowned research and development agencies such as the CGIAR, UN bodies plus several regional research, advocacy and policy bodies all of which are working to fix Kenya’s and wider Africa’s sustainability challenges.  Through these interventions,…

presentation

Learning across continents on sustainable transformations: a visit from China to Africa

In early April I visited Nairobi for a four-day exchange visit to the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS), as part of a project on Transformative Pathways to Sustainability funded by the World Social Science Council (ISSC). The project explores different sustainability challenges in 6 countries (Kenya, China, UK, Mexico, Argentina and India). The China…

Sunset in Kenya

Beyond policy statements: how politics and ecology combine in land, water and forests

Governing land, water and forests (so-called ‘nexus’ resources) is critical for sustaining livelihoods, especially in the face of emerging shocks such as climate change. This also means that the effectiveness of interventions aimed at addressing climate change and other livelihood issues will heavily depend on how these resources are governed – including how they are…

Introducing the new STEPS Centre and Global Consortium website

You might have noticed that the STEPS Centre has a new website. As the final step to our online facelift, we have just launched a new global section of the website. It highlights the exciting work of the Pathways to Sustainability Global Consortium hubs in Africa, China, South Asia, North America, Latin America and Europe….

Boundary object

How rethinking local people’s agency could help navigate Xochimilco’s troubled waters

Xochimilco, Mexico City is the last remnant of the complex lacustrine system of wetlands that was the basis for agriculture and livelihoods (the chinampa system) in pre-Columbian times. However, the water is no longer provided by natural springs, but is reliant on the discharge of treated wastewater from the neighboring, densely populated and impoverished borough…

Argentina workshop

Could new alliances for seeds in Argentina be a way to nurture agricultural diversity?

Over the last three decades there has been an unprecedented process of concentration in world and regional seed markets. Seed R&D has shifted from being widely distributed over hundreds of medium and large seed firms and public sector institution to being heavily concentrated in just five or six multinational agro-chemical firms.

butterfly

Why rapid transitions are more possible than you might think

In the face of climate change and social inequality, changing to a greener and fairer society might feel impossible – but rapid, radical transitions may be more possible than you might think, according to a new booklet published by the STEPS Centre and the New Weather Institute.

Tsetse fly

To combat neglected tropical diseases, we need more than just drugs and vaccines

Neglected tropical diseases have been in the news this week. A big meeting at the World Health Organisation in Geneva has resulted in big pledges from the UK aid progamme and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to banish the scourge affecting around a billion people worldwide. This is good news, and to be commended….

Submarine

Is Trident Influencing UK Energy Policy?

What explains the UK government’s enthusiasm for nuclear power, despite its various problems – including technical difficulties and cost? Could one hidden factor be the pressure to support the infrastructure needed for military programmes such as Trident? SPRU researcher Philip Johnstone and our co-director Andy Stirling have been researching this question, and explore their findings…