Person with full-body protective clothing walks behind a fence

Preparing for pandemics and the role of uncertainty explored in new project

The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) has announced a new project funded by the Wellcome Trust: Pandemic Preparedness: local and global concepts and practices in tackling disease threats in Africa. The project aims to track the meanings and concepts of pandemic preparedness at global, regional and local levels, and the ways these interconnect – or…

Workers test chickens at a market in Thailand.

The social life of infectious diseases: a new impact story from STEPS

A new multimedia story, ‘The social life of infectious diseases’ is the first in a new series of impact stories from the STEPS Centre. It traces how our thinking on avian flu, Ebola and other infectious diseases has evolved over the last ten years, and how we have engaged with debates, policy-making and practical action….

Ebola prevention

Ebola initiatives win ESRC Outstanding International Impact Prize

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…

First Ebola, now Zika: inconvenient truths about emerging diseases

In the second time in as many years, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a new Global Public Health Emergency: the Zika virus crisis has been born. A new disease with another exotic name, Zika virus is predicted to infect millions in the next few months as it sweeps across the globe. Just as…

Credit: STEPS Centre

A year of STEPS: 2015 highlights

As it’s nearing the end of 2015, here are some highlights you may have missed from the STEPS Centre’s last 12 months. We’ll see you next year! Our coverage of the COP21 climate conference STEPS members wrote blogs, organised events and reflected on the future of climate change action around the Paris conference in December….

Ebola: identifying the true game-changers

Compared to this time last year, news about Ebola is hugely more encouraging. Although not over, the number of new cases per week tends to be in single figures instead of the hundreds. Out of the tragedy there have been some awe-inspiring achievements, such as the recent news that a vaccine had proven 100% effective…

Welcoming the medics to the One Health movement

The Ebola epidemic alerted many to the interconnectedness of human, animal and environmental health. The medical community has traditionally lagged behind animal health and ecosystem experts in embracing One Health, the predominant movement espousing this approach, but now a report from a Lancet and Rockefeller Foundation co-convened Commission on Planetary Health appears to do so enthusiastically…

STEPS blog: best of 2014

We can hardly believe it, but it’s nearly the end of 2014. To mark the occasion, the STEPS Centre communications team has picked 12 of our favourite blog posts by STEPS members, one from each month of the year. Choosing them has been a difficult task, as there’s been a lot to write about our…

Melissa Leach on Ebola & inequality – lecture text & audio

Some materials are now available from the recent Sussex Development Lecture on Equality, Sustainability, Security: Interlaced challenges in a global development era by former STEPS Director Melissa Leach. The text is available to download below as a PDF, and you can listen to Melissa’s lecture online, courtesy of the Institute of Development Studies. In the…

Ebola: difficult questions for development

As the horrific Ebola crisis unfolds across West Africa, and the international community belatedly responds, there are some bigger questions that arise beyond the immediate challenges on the ground. These are worth raising and discussing, as they challenge our understanding of ‘development’ as framed and practised over the last few decades in fundamental ways. The…