The power and politics around ‘objective’ performance monitoring

Performance monitoring, most prominently exemplified in the Millennium Development Goals, is often perceived as providing objective results. Using the case of access to rural water supplies in Ethiopia, a new journal article (£) by STEPS alumna Katharina Welle explores the power and political dynamics inherent in sector performance monitoring. Welle, K. (2014) Monitoring performance or…

Understanding water for food security

Lyla Mehta, STEPS Centre water & sanitation theme convenor, is heading a team writing the report on Water and Food Security to the Committee of World Food Security (CFS). Water for all, provided in an equitable and sustainable way, is central to global justice for poor women and men. It has a particularly important role…

World Water Day: Time to consider a low water economy

The theme of this year’s World Water Day on 22 March is ‘water and energy’ – giving a chance to reflect on how these two vital resources are linked. In the water sector, the food-energy-water nexus is slowly replacing the concept of Integrated Water Resources Management. The idea of the nexus essentially gained momentum in the…

Telling stories about scarcity

‘Scarcity’ is a key term in debates about the global rush for land and other resources. A new Future Agricultures working paper, co-authored by STEPS director Ian Scoones, looks at different narratives of scarcity related to the future of food and farming in Africa and globally, and finds that political questions – about distribution, needs,…

STEPS-JNU SYMPOSIUM: Nexus narratives – water politics in Asia

By Ian Scoones, Co-Director, STEPS Centre The fourth panel at the STEPS-JNU Symposium focused on the highly contested narratives around how water is stored and accessed in Asia, with cases from Nepal, Laos, and Thailand. As Uttam Sinha from The Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi, commented, Asia is facing a “hydrological moment”…

The Water Cookbook: Bhagwati Prasad’s strange and beautiful illustrations from peri-urban Delhi

I’ve just come across a copy of The Water Cookbook which I was given by Lyla Mehta, produced by part of our project looking at water conflicts in peri-urban Delhi. It’s an amazing set of illustrations by Bhagwati Prasad of the Delhi-based research centre Sarai programme, which uses art and media to respond to and…

Where branding and sustainability collide

By Nathan Oxley, Communications Officer, STEPS Centre Peace Parks sound lovely, don’t they? I mean, who would be against the idea of creating a nature reserve across national borders to promote co-operation, development and conservation? Sign in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Northern Cape, South Africa Bram Büscher (Institute of Social Studies), who gave a STEPS Centre Seminar last…

New articles: Access to Water in peri-urban India

A new article examining the increasing inequalities around water provision in Delhi by STEPS Centre partner Alankar is published this week. Socio-Spatial Situatedness and Access to Water (Economic & Political Weekly, October 12, 2013 vol xlviiI 54 no 41), looks at the social and political biases around large state-managed and institutionalised water provision in the city and the increasing gap…

Call for papers: Is the Nexus Secure … and for Whom?

Water Alternatives will publish a special issue on Critical Thinking On the ‘New Security Convergence’ in Energy, Food, Climate and Water, with financial support from the STEPS Centre. The editors invite abstracts by 15 December 2013 on the points set out below. For full details, please visit the Water Alternatives website Guest Editors: Jeremy Allouche (STEPS Centre, IDS) j.allouche@ids.ac.uk…

Getting the facts right on land grabs: 5 new (free) articles

As part of its series on land grabs, The Journal of Peasant Studies has released a collection of 5 new articles on the problem of recording accurate and reliable information on global land deals. The edition includes a contribution from STEPS co-director Ian Scoones. Here’s the description from the JPS: “The recent ‘land rush’ precipitated…