Current projects

A list of currently active projects affiliated to the STEPS Centre. For an archive of all STEPS projects including inactive and completed ones, see the list of all projects.

From 2018-2021 the STEPS Centre and Global Consortium are focusing on four annual themes. The first theme, in 2018, is Transformations.

PASTRES: Pastoralism, Uncertainty & Resilience

PASTRES (Pastoralism, Uncertainty and Resilience: Global Lessons from the Margins) is a research project which aims to learn from the ways that pastoralists respond to uncertainty, applying such ‘lessons from the margins’ to global challenges. We aim to foster a conversation with other policy domains where uncertainty is pervasive, including financial and commodity systems, critical infrastructure management, disease outbreak response, migration policy, climate change and conflict and security governance.

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The TAPESTRY project examines how transformation may arise ‘from below’ in marginal environments with high levels of uncertainty, and how this could be scaled up and out.

TAPESTRY focuses on three ‘patches of transformation’ in India and Bangladesh – vulnerable coastal areas of Mumbai, the Sundarbans and Kutch – where hybrid alliances and innovative practices are reimagining sustainable development and inspiring societal transformation.

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‘Pathways’ Network: Transformative pathways to sustainability

The PATHWAYS Network carries out comparative research in six countries to explore how to work with local people on social transformations in the context of environmental change. The project conducts ‘Transformation Labs’ (T-Labs) with diverse groups in each country to address a specific socio-ecological problem. Insights about methods and outcomes are shared between the six sites – in Argentina, India, China, Mexico, the UK and Kenya.

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Myanmar Pig Partnership

This project explores the disease risk that is thought to be accompanying changes in pig production and consumption patterns in Myanmar.

People in Myanmar are thought to be at increasing risk of zoonoses (diseases passed from animals to humans) as a result of the rapid growth and intensification of livestock production in the country in recent years.

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Zimbabweland: Zimbabwe’s Land Reform

Zimbabwe’s land reform since 2000 has been intensely controversial. Yet the debate about what happened, where and to who has too often been shallow and ill-informed, and not based on solid empirical evidence from the field. Based on on-going fieldwork, the project offers a range of material on what happened to people’s livelihoods after land reform.

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Relational Pathways

This project aims to understand the pathways in and out of poverty for farmers in Kenya and India, and explore their collective capacity to bring about transformative change. It examines how the popular view of the ‘Green Revolution’ in India is challenged by closer attention to people’s life histories, which reveal complex and uneven relationships with technology and social change over time.

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Emancipatory Rural Politics Initiative (ERPI)

New exclusionary politics are generating deepening inequalities, jobless ‘growth’, climate chaos, and social division. The Emancipatory Rural Politics Initiative (ERPI) is focused on the social and political processes in rural spaces that are generating alternatives to regressive, authoritarian politics.

The ERPI aims to provoke debate and action among scholars, activists, practitioners and policymakers from across the world who are concerned about the current situation, and hopeful about alternatives.

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System Change HIve

The System Change HIVE is a ‘creative engine room’ based on a series of discussions in the UK between researchers, emerging artists and experienced artistic mentors. The HIVE explores how art can contribute to ‘system change’ by exploring multiple visions of the future, through visual and sonic art, including Virtual Reality. Resulting artworks will tour around the UK, and be showcased on a dedicated website.

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Governance of Socio-Technical Transformations (GOST)

The GoST project will focus on transformation processes in three areas of crucial relevance to sustainable development, relating in particular to pressing imperatives in countries of the Global South: energy systems, agriculture, and urban digital infrastructures.

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