Working Papers

Published: 6th July 2017

STEPS Working Paper 97 In this paper I perform a discourse analysis of the academic literature on the Green Revolution (GR) in East Africa, governed by two questions: what form or shape is given to agency in each GR study? And, which agencies are considered prime movers that play leading roles in the narratives and…

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Published: 6th July 2017

STEPS Working Paper 96 This paper explores the potential of a range of peri-urban environmentalisms to come together in support of sustainable urbanisation. The present-day ‘urban,’ along with the dominant planning visions of urbanisation, lack in inclusivity, deliberative democracy, grassroots innovations, and bottom-up processes of knowledge generation. To sustainably transform this scenario, there is a…

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STEPS Working Paper 95 Market-based strategies are increasingly being framed by highlevel stakeholders as ideal means of responding to environmental problems on various scales. As a result, concepts and mechanisms that link markets to local conservation initiatives such as payments for ecosystem services (PES) schemes, carbon trading and other forms of offsetting, and conservation finance…

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International efforts to achieve goals such as universal energy access and climate change mitigation are expected to stimulate billions of dollars of private financial flows to developing countries for clean (energy) technology transfer investments. Policies for realising these ambitions are framed in terms of neoliberal development orthodoxy, but critical voices call for more active state…

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STEPS Working Paper 92 Amid talk of the need for a low carbon ‘clean energy revolution’ to address the challenges of energy poverty and climate change, there is growing academic and policy interest in understanding the role of key actors that are expected to enable transitions and transformations towards a low carbon economy in a…

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STEPS Working Paper 93 In 2014, China announced an ambitious plan to help alleviate rural poverty through deploying distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in poor areas. The solar energy for poverty alleviation programme (SEPAP) initiative aims to add over 10 GW capacity and benefit more than 2 million households from around 35,000 villages across the…

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Published: 20th March 2017

STEPS Working Paper by Saurabh Arora arguing for more caring forms of engagement between different knowledge practices, and against notions of control as embodied in the idea of the ‘Anthropocene’.

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Published: 13th December 2016

STEPS Working Paper 89 In this working paper we introduce an area of activity that has flourished for decades in all corners of the globe, namely grassroots innovation for sustainable development. We also argue why innovation in general is a matter for democracy. Combining these two points, we explore how grassroots innovation can contribute to…

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Published: 1st October 2016

STEPS Working Paper 88 This paper addresses the case of bioenergy development in Emilia Romagna, using and building on a ‘pathways to sustainability’ approach (Leach et al. 2010). It represents the first attempt to apply the ‘pathways’ approach to a European context, investigating the dominant narratives and system framings that led to particular pathways of…

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Published: 20th October 2015

STEPS Centre Working Paper 87 Download this paper (PDF 1 MB) Between the 1970s and 1980s appropriate technology (AT) become a worldwide grassroots innovation movement that sought to redefine technology as a tool for development. In South America, AT emerged in a context of political upheaval between the challenge of political repression and the influence of new…

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Published: 13th October 2015

STEPS Centre Working Paper Series Download this paper here [PDF 918 KB] Given the environmental impacts of China’s current development trajectory and the country’s increasing economic and strategic focus on innovation, China’s progress on sustainable and low-carbon innovation is of crucial global importance. In order to better understand how the government is accelerating progress in these areas, this…

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Published: 6th July 2015

STEPS/Future Health Systems Working Paper 85 Download this paper (PDF 760kb) Since the beginning of reforms in the late 1970s, China has developed rapidly, transforming itself into a middle-income country, raising hundreds of millions out of poverty and, latterly, developing broad-based social protection systems. The country’s approach to reform has been unorthodox, leading many to…

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Published: 24th April 2015

STEPS Working Paper 84 Download the paper (PDF 898kb) There is growing international concern about the threat to public health of the emergence and spread of bacteria resistant to existing antibiotics. An effective response must invest in both the development of new drugs and measures to slow the emergence of resistance. This paper addresses the…

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Published: 20th April 2015
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STEPS Working Paper 79 Download (PDF) This paper is a study of climate change discourse in urban India. It suggests that the policies being articulated to deal with climate issues are premised on incremental changes rather than radical re-planning of Indian cities. The paper tries to ask as to what explains this incremental approach. Is…

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What drives differing responses to zoonotic diseases? Seven new working papers from the STEPS-led Dynamic Drivers of Disease in Africa Consortium consider understandings around ecosystems and health as they relate to four zoonoses in five countries in Africa in order to explore this issue. The papers investigate how understandings around ecosystems and health are always positioned and…

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Published: 23rd March 2015

STEPS Working Paper 82 Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a zoonotic infection incompletely understood by scientists, pastoralists and policy makers. The irregular intervals at which outbreaks occur make it difficult for governments to develop and implement clear intervention strategies. This paper provides an evidence-based analysis of some of the conditions under which the risks posed…

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Published: 11th March 2015

STEPS Working Paper 83 This paper explores the politics of knowledge and disease control for Lassa fever, a zoonotic viral haemorrhagic fever which is endemic in parts of West Africa. The Lassa virus has been classified as a Category A pathogen, meaning it is considered to be one of the world’s most dangerous organisms and…

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Published: 2nd March 2015

STEPS Working Paper 81 ‘One Health’ has emerged over the last decade as a key concept guiding international research and policy in the field of emerging infectious diseases such as zoonoses. This paper explores the emergence of One Health and examines the political, economic and knowledge processes shaping who is doing what, where and why….

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Published: 13th February 2015

STEPS Working Paper 78 by Andy Stirling Download this paper (PDF) Innovation is about more than technological invention. It involves change of many kinds: cultural, organisational and behavioural as well as technological. So, in a world crying out for social justice and ecological care, innovation holds enormous progressive potential. Yet there are no guarantees that…

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Published: 12th February 2015

STEPS Working Paper 80 Zoonotic disease has gained international attention since the identification of avian and swine influenza, with academic focus on the modelling of disease emergence, and policy centring on disciplinary approaches of analysis. Recent scholarship has recognised that the conditions which encourage zoonotic diseases are both ecological and socio-political. The challenge lies in the…

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Published: 28th January 2015

STEPS Working Paper 72 Adrian Ely, Sam Geall and Yiching Song Download (PDF) China provides a stark and globally significant illustration of how changing patterns of food production and consumption are creating negative impacts on the environment. However, China’s rapidly growing innovation capabilities and dynamic pattern of development also offer unique opportunities for system innovation…

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Published: 28th January 2015

STEPS Working Paper 71 David Tyfield, Dennis Zuev, Ping Li and John Urry Download (PDF) China represents a test-case of global significance regarding the challenges of urban mobility transition to more sustainable models. The country not only suffers the effects of air pollution, urban gridlock and more, but also is the site of significant government…

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Published: 28th January 2015

STEPS Working Paper 70 Frauke Urban and Sam Geall Download (PDF) China is not only the world’s largest energy consumer and greenhouse-gas emitter by volume, but also boasts the largest investment in renewable energy technologies, including solar, which are essential for a transition to a low-carbon society. How are two different pathways towards solar energy…

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Published: 28th January 2015

STEPS Working Paper 69 by David Tyfield, Adrian Ely, Frauke Urban, Sam Geall, Dennis Zuev and John Urry Download (PDF) China’s potential transition to a low-carbon, climate resilient or ‘post-carbon’ society is a key concern for the world. There is an urgent need for better understanding of these processes, posing major challenges for social science…

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Published: 19th January 2015

STEPS Working Paper 77 by David Ockwell and Rob Byrne Download this paper National systems of innovation (NSIs) provide the context within which all processes of technology development, transfer and uptake occur – they refer to the network of actors (e.g. firms, universities, research institutes, government departments, NGOs) within which innovation occurs, and the strength…

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Published: 9th December 2014

STEPS Working Paper 76 by David Ockwell and Rob Byrne Download this paper National systems of innovation (NSIs) provide the context within which all processes of technology development, transfer and uptake occur – they refer to the network of actors (e.g. firms, universities, research institutes, government departments, NGOs) within which innovation occurs, and the strength…

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Published: 27th November 2014

STEPS Working Paper 75 by Shilpi Srivastava and Lyla Mehta Download this paper (PDF) In recent years, the notion of the nexus has gained immense traction in the domain of natural resource governance. It has captured high interest across academic, policy and popular debates, and has become the defining vocabulary to understand the interlinkages between…

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Published: 4th November 2014

STEPS Working Paper 74 The world is now facing the emergence of new pathogens and the return of old ones at an unprecedented speed. Among the wide range of emerging diseases, zoonoses – infections naturally transmitted between vertebrate animals and humans – represent a new complex global problem for public health and require new forms of science…

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Published: 14th November 2014

STEPS Working Paper 73 This paper explores the framings of trypanosomiasis, a widespread and potentially fatal zoonotic disease transmitted by tsetse flies (Glossina species) affecting both humans and livestock.  This is a country case study focusing on the political economy of knowledge in Zambia. It is a pertinent time to examine this issue as human…

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Published: 31st July 2014

This paper introduces a new methodological and theoretical foundation for studying the reasons for successes and failures of community-based micro grids (CBMGs). Download this paper (pdf) While technical and financial factors involved are very critical they are comparatively well researched. This analysis argues that further research into, in particular, the institutional design of CBMGs is…

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Published: 15th July 2014

Download this paper (PDF) Created in 2004 with the arrival of the new center-left government of the Workers Party in Brazil, the Social Technology Network (STN) aimed at fostering a process of social inclusion, public participation and income generation by drawing from existing capabilities in S&T. From the beginning, the STN relied on a hybrid…

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Published: 1st January 1970

In the context of rapid social, ecological and technological change,there is rising global demand from private, public and civic interests for trans-disciplinary sustainability research. This demand is fuelled by an increasing recognition that transitions toward sustainability require new modes of knowledge production that incorporate social and natural sciences and the humanities. The STEPS Centre’s ‘pathways…

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Published: 30th May 2014

Over the last several years, the water-energy-food (WEF) nexus has emerged as an increasingly prominent global policy, governance and research agenda. Water, energy, and food security are often framed to be within a contested trade-off relationship between actors, and this framing has been reinforced by a ‘scarcity crisis’ narrative put forward by a number of…

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Published: 29th May 2014

Current global environmental policy reverberates with talk of a new “Anthropocene epoch” defined by “human domination”, in which a “perfect storm” of catastrophic threats is forcing “the great transition” towards “planetary management”. Under growing “environmental authoritarianism”, democracy is increasingly seen as a “failure”, a “luxury”, or even “an enemy of nature”. If charge is to…

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Published: 26th February 2014

Using a combination of insights from innovation studies, socio-technical transitions theory and the STEPS pathways approach, this paper analyses the evolution of the Kenyan photovoltaics (PV) market. Considered by many to be an exemplar of private sector led development, the Kenyan PV market has witnessed the adoption of more than 300,000 solar home systems and…

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Published: 3rd March 2014

This paper undertakes an analysis of the discursive construction of the entrepreneurial identity within media on climate technology (CT) innovation in Kenya. Using the STEPS Centre Pathways Approach along side a post-structuralist feminist identity framework, it explores the way that the narrative of entrepreneur-led innovation may include or exclude the framings of particular actors. The paper draws…

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Published: 3rd March 2014

This paper focuses on finance for Solar Home Systems (SHSs) in Kenya and asks to what extent emerging new finance approaches are likely to address the shortcomings of past approaches.  Drawing on the STEPS Pathways Approach we adopt a framing that understands finance within a broader socio-technical context as a necessary but not sufficient component…

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Published: 5th February 2014

STEPS Centre Working Paper 60 Download this paper (PDF) The ‘impact’ of research has seen a dramatic rise up the UK’s policy agenda in recent years. But what does ‘impact’ really mean? How do researchers and others respond to the new ‘impact agenda’ and how might we best plan, monitor and report on impact? This…

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Published: 14th January 2014

STEPS Working Paper 58 A history and analysis is provided of the movement for socially useful production, which flourished for a brief period in the UK in the 1970s and 1980s. Swimming against the rising tide of neo-liberalism, activists provided both a critique of the existing institutions for innovation in society, and developed a set…

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Published: 10th January 2014

by Jon Moris STEPS Centre / IDS Working Paper (IDS WP435) This working paper (pdf) argues we need to reimagine development tactics to fashion Development 3.0, to match what business analysts now call World 3.0, a global system characterized by high turbulence and new threats. It begins by contrasting our former classification of countries spatially…

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Published: 13th January 2014

STEPS Working Paper 57 African trypanosomiasis is a devastating disease, both for humans and animals. Over the last hundred years huge efforts have been made to control it. This paper explores the scientific and policy debates surrounding the control of the disease and its vector, the tsetse fly. The paper focuses particularly on East and…

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Published: 12th November 2013

This paper analyses the policy context around the Ghana poultry sector with a particular focus on a number of ‘evidence issues’. We identify and probe where there appear to be different or conflicting facts, interpretations, narratives and visions, and consider implications for policy processes in the light of the rhetorical acceptance of evidence-based approaches to…

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Published: 14th May 2013

This paper explores the governance and feasibility of globally-linked REDD+ projects in local African settings, focusing on the Kasigau project in Kenya, Africa’s first REDD+ project accredited under internationally accepted standards. The project is a commercial venture and during the last five years it has unfolded in a relatively vulnerable Kenyan setting. A policy process…

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Published: 26th March 2013

Despite the fact that there is much more acceptance today to the use of fire by indigenous people in forests and savannas ecosystems than there was two decades ago, it still remains a highly controversial and questioned local practice, to the point that reducing green house emissions from tropical forest and savanna fires is top…

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Published: 1st April 2013

The term Livestock Revolution was coined by Delgado et al. (1999c) to highlight accelerated growth in demand for livestock products in parts of the developing world, tied to human population growth, rising incomes, continuing urbanisation and changing food preferences. The Livestock Revolution – with its promise of diet diversity, better nutrition and health, and also…

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Published: 8th January 2013

Examining the political economy of knowledge in responses to the 2009-10 influenza pandemic, To Pandemic or Not? Reconfiguring Global Responses to Influenza argues that globally, and in many individual nations, techno-scientific narratives constructed by bio-medical actor networks failed to correspond with the more variegated narratives of multifarious global publics, and so struggled to recruit support and maintain…

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Published: 14th December 2012

As REDD-type becomes an integral part of the international response to climate change, it is important to learn from existing forest carbon offset projects to ensure that REDD+ does not undermine property rights, resource access and agricultural livelihoods at the grassroots. Carbon Offsets and Agricultural Livelihoods: Lessons Learned From a Carbon Credit Project in The…

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Published: 5th November 2012

In the context of major scientific and policy concern with the causes and implications of climate change, various actors are now keen to demonstrate how agricultural carbon finance can help achieve multiple benefits or ‘triple wins’ for sub-Saharan African agriculture. The target areas for these demonstrations have complex sociopolitical histories including prior donor interventions seeking…

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Published: 1st February 2012

China is not only becoming a significant player in the production of high-tech products, but also an increasingly important contributor of ideas and influence in the global knowledge economy. This paper identifies the promises and the pathologies of the biotech innovation system from the perspective of social sustainability in China, looking at the governance of…

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Published: 8th December 2011

Using the case study of the Kibera slums, this paper takes a medical anthropological approach to discuss and explain the untold and common practice among the urban poor in developing countries that is informally known as the ‘Flying Toilets’. This paper seeks to inform those working within the public health sector about such practices, but…

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Published: 8th November 2011

The relationships between energy and development are complex, compounded by increasingly differentiated situations amongst developing countries and within them. Moreover, the manner in which energy services are realised has consequences for our health, environment, wealth, and social relations. Two important issues currently preoccupying the realm of international development are enhancing energy access whilst simultaneously addressing…

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Published: 1st November 2011

This paper is one of a series of working papers relating regional experiences to ideas proposed by the New Manifesto, following on round table discussions held in Venezuela, Argentina, and Colombia in 2010. The paper briefly describes the heterogeneous context and history of the Latin American region with specific attention to STI policies and institutions,…

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Published: 1st June 2008

Resilience is a term that is widely used by scholars from different disciplines who promote action research between science and policy. This paper is largely concerned with how resilience approaches can be used as a practical tool in helping to understand complex dynamic socio-ecological systems in an urbanising world and, in particular, how resilience approaches…

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Published: 18th August 2010

Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) represents a radical alternative to conventional top-down approaches to sanitation and offers hope of achieving the Millennium Development Goals. In contrast to state-led initiatives to improve sanitation that tend to focus on hardware and subsidies, CLTS emphasises community action and behaviour change as the most important elements to better sanitation. CLTS…

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Published: 7th June 2010

The 1970 ‘Sussex Manifesto’ was one of the earliest global policy reports to use statistical data about R&D that were starting to become available on an internationally comparable basis, though only in a very sketchy form for developing countries. It demonstrated the marginal position of that group of countries as contributors to the world’s R&D,…

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Published: 10th September 2009

Most anti-colonial movements in the second half of the 20th Century promised to provide universal access to health services. The Alma Ata Declaration of 1978 presented a consensus view of how governments could deliver on this promise. During the next thirty years, people experienced dramatic health improvements in some countries or districts, but they continued…

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Published: 14th September 2009

The original “Sussex Manifesto” called for radical change in international debate and action about harnessing science and technology to development. It challenged the commonly accepted global division of labour in innovation that underlay most preceding discussion of this issue – conducted almost exclusively in terms of (i) undertaking research in advanced countries ‘for’ developing countries…

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Published: 10th September 2009

In the face of the pressing challenges posed by hunger, malnutrition and the vulnerability of our food system, it is imperative that radical reforms to the food system are articulated and implemented. Questions about the governance of the current food system need to be posed and answered. Key issues that need to be addressed include…

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Published: 10th September 2009

Whether generic ‘silver bullet’ solutions can address complex development problems has been debated for many years. The ‘grand challenge’ extends the idea of the silver bullet in ways that speak to a goal-driven, global development agenda and a new generation of private philanthropists – or ‘philanthro-capitalists’ seeking to apply business methods to ‘strategic’ giving. These…

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Published: 16th September 2009

In the 40 years since the original “Sussex Manifesto”, the global landscape of science, technology and innovation has altered radically. The emergence of new centres of innovation in many of what were in 1970 grouped as “developing countries” has important implications not only for those interested in maintaining the competitiveness of the more established economic…

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Published: 12th October 2009

Perceptions of water as an increasingly scarce resource have gained global dominance, and caused many countries to reform their water legislations. South Africa has positioned itself in the vanguard of such reform efforts, as it passed the National Water Act in 1998, four years after the end of apartheid. The Act was lauded as a…

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Published: 10th March 2009

As a country suffering from large-scale AI outbreaks and receiving considerable international support, Vietnam provides a crucial case not to be missed in any analysis of the global AI crisis. Vietnam is also interesting because of two paradoxes in her response to AI. Despite being poor, Vietnam selected the most expensive approach (comprehensive vaccination) to…

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Published: 10th March 2009

Thailand is centrally located relative to the Avian Influenza epidemic and her response to the disease has important implications for disease control efforts both regionally and globally. A middle income country with a large and economically significant export oriented poultry sector, Thailand has made protection of the broiler industry and preservation of international market access…

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Published: 10th March 2009

Why is the response to H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) so challenged in Indonesia? Why did the virus spread so fast, and why has the disease persisted? Are there features of the country and its culture that encourage or inhibit the disease? Is the internationally led response appropriately sensitive to local contexts? This paper…

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Published: 10th June 2009

Many people and organisations have sought to promote genetically modified (GM, transgenic) crops as a ‘pro-poor’ technology. However, developing-country farmers’ experiences with GM crops have been mixed. Some farmers have certainly benefited, but others have not. Predictably, the performance and impacts of transgenic crops depend critically on a range of technical, socio-economic and institutional factors….

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Published: 19th November 2009

The concept of resilience is now capturing high interest across academic, policy and popular debate. In a world where threats – whether linked to climate change, epidemic disease, or fluctuating financial markets – loom ever larger, resilience thinking valuably highlights the complex, open, path-dependent dynamics of coupled social-economic-environmental systems. Not only does it provide an…

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The STEPS Rethinking Regulation project is examining the harmonising regulation of two widely available technologies – transgenic cotton seeds and antibiotics – in China and Argentina. We wish to explore how their regulation – in terms of property/access and quality/risk – overlaps, compares and contrasts with the way poorer users experience these properties. What issues,…

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Published: 14th October 2008

Over the last decade, the avian influenza virus, H5N1, has spread across most of Asia and Europe and parts of Africa. In some countries – including Indonesia, China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Nigeria and Egypt – the avian disease has probably become endemic. There has, as yet, been no human pandemic, although 245 deaths have been reported…

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Published: 18th September 2008

Technology contributes both positively and negatively to the resilience of ‘social-ecological systems’, but is not considered in depth in that literature. A technology-focused literature on sociotechnical transitions shares some of the complex adaptive systems sensibilities of social-ecological systems research. It is considered by others to provide a bridging opportunity to share lessons concerning the governance…

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Published: 25th June 2008

Cutting-edge research on agri-food systems contends that mainstream agricultural science is ill-equipped to address issues of complexity, diversity and uncertainty. The paper tackles this issue looking at animal breeding, an area of agricultural science that has so far remained marginal to the analysis concerned with dynamics and uncertainty. The focus is on systems operating with…

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Published: 20th May 2007

The challenges of understanding the governance of dynamic social, technological and environmental systems, and thier implications for sustainability and social justice, are addressed.

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Published: 18th June 2007

This paper outlines the STEPS Centre approach to understanding dynamic systems and addressing their goverance so as to promote pathways to Sustainabilty that meet the perspectives and priorities of poor and marginalised groups. It lays out the ingredients of the STEPS Centre’s work, including linking diverse social and natural science perspectives, connecting theory, policy and practice and an engaged, interactive approach to communications.

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Published: 9th November 2009

Spanish (Latin American) translation of Innovation, Sustainability, Development: A New Manifesto.

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Published: 2nd June 2011

This report explores the role that ‘new models’ of technology assessment can play in improving the lives of poor and vulnerable populations in the developing world. The ‘new models’ addressed here combine citizen and decision-maker participation with technical expertise. They are virtual and networked rather than being based in a single office of technology assessment…

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Published: 26th October 2010

Throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, the human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) pandemic is having devastating and tragic social, economic, and political impacts. HIV/AIDS is both a health issue and a development problem, with complex links to rural livelihoods, human capacity, and natural resource conservation. As the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Sub-Saharan Africa has spread, it appears that…

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Published: 26th October 2010

‘Biochar’ is currently the focus of extraordinary levels of both technological optimism and debate. As a substance, biochar refers quite simply to the carbon-rich product that results when biomass – from wood or leaves to manure or crop residues – is burned under oxygen-deprived conditions. But around the idea of biochar and the processes of…

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Published: 1st October 2010

Water and sanitation issues are looming large on the international agenda, not least due to the impetus created by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to halve, by 2015, the proportion of the world’s population who do not have access to clean water and adequate sanitation. Water resources for productive uses have also received increased focus…

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Published: 19th July 2010

Chinese (Mandarin) translation of Innovation, Sustainability, Development: A New Manifesto.

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Published: 19th July 2010

Brazilian Portuguese translation of Innovation, Sustainability, Development: A New Manifesto.

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Published: 19th July 2010

Arabic translation of Innovation, Sustainability, Development: A New Manifesto.

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Published: 15th June 2010

Our Manifesto project publication is available in print, on CD or to view online. Innovation, Sustainability, Development: A New Manifesto recommends new ways of linking science and innovation to development for a more sustainable, equitable and resilient future. The multimedia version, with added audio, video and background documents, is available on CD and online.

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Published: 30th November 2009

This paper summarises the findings of the STEPS Environmental Change and Maize Innovation in Kenya project. Maize is an important staple crop in Kenya, socially, politically and economically. This project has taken maize as a window through which to explore differential responses to the combined and inter-related effects of climate change, market uncertainties and land…

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Published: 1st November 2009

This report summarises the proceedings of the two-day Liquid Dynamics symposium held at the STEPS Centre in Brighton in November 2009. The Water and Sanitation domain of the STEPS Centre uses the notion of Liquid Dynamics refers to capture the complex dynamics and interactions between the social, ecological and technological dimensions of water and sanitation….

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Published: 1st October 2009

The central challenge in the original Sussex Manifesto centred on massively increasing the developing countries’ scientific and technological capabilities for creating new knowledge and shaping the technologies they used. It also stressed the need for radical change in the national and international contexts within which those capabilities would be accumulated and used. This paper reviews…

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Published: 1st October 2009

Notions of ‘progress’ pervade the modern world. Yet, ‘north’ and ‘south’ alike, policymaking for progress in innovation, sustainability and development tends to be ambiguous. Politicians speak of “the way forward”, without saying which way. History is viewed as a “race to advance technology”, without stating the particular direction. Governments proclaim “pro-innovation” and “sustainable” policies, without…

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Published: 1st October 2009

The term “development” is synonymous with economic growth. Theory and empirical evidence suggests decoupling energy use from economic growth is unlikely, implying an urgent need to decarbonise energy use and supply if developing nations are to be protected from the impacts of climate change. The political discourse on facilitating low carbon growth in developing countries…

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Published: 1st October 2009

This background paper focuses on the potential role that international science and technology ‘foresight-type’ activities might play in informing decision-making processes about innovation, development and emerging technologies. Two, predominantly national-level, foresight type activities are discussed, ‘technology foresight’ and ‘technology assessment’. Experiences with these approaches are quite diverse but over time there has been a discernible…

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Published: 1st October 2009

This paper revisits a series of key moments in the last 50 years of UN debates on science and technology for sustainable development. It reflects on the genealogy of tropes of development and the ways in which these have been equated with science, technology, and innovation. The paper unravels some of the fundamental philosophical assumptions…

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Published: 1st October 2009

This paper explores what ‘mainstream’ Centres of Excellence might mean for developing countries and poor people. It examines how development is constructed as economic growth with industry and enterprise – complemented by centres of scientific excellence and technological innovation – as its key engine. It demonstrates that, in relation to science and centres of excellence,…

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Published: 11th September 2009

This paper examines some of the many ways in which the peri-urban has been theorised, considering, in particular, the implications for a normative research agenda towards improved environmental and social justice. The paper discusses the value of different notions of sustainability in the context of the peri-urban, challenging the view that ‘sustainability’ is not an…

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Published: 25th June 2009

Floods, droughts, 6,000 babies dying daily due to waterbounre diseases and growing sanitation problems in booming peri-urban and urban centres. No act of terrorism generates devastation on the scale of the crisis in water and sanitation. This paper demonstrates the big disconnect between global rhetoric and the everyday realities of poor and marginalised people.

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Published: 17th April 2009

Cambodia’s experience with Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) since the disease was discovered on a farm outside Phnom Penh in January 2004 reveals important aspects of how a developing country with limited resources and capabilities has responded to a crisis that has global public health implications and, vice-versa, how this global response in turn affected…

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Published: 1st February 2009

What does it take to develop a vaccine? This paper explores the technical and institutional conditions that allow reliable knowledge to build up in a series of structured stages from the laboratory to the field. The paper highlights the role of instrumentalities (instruments, skills and organisational capabilities) in allowing iteration between these stages; and shows…

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Published: 26th September 2008

Current global health policy is dominated by a preoccupation with infectious diseases and in particular with emerging or re-emerging infectious diseases that threaten to ‘break out’ of established patterns of prevalence or virulence into new areas and new victims. This paper seeks to link a set of dominant narratives about epidemics and infectious disease with…

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Published: 26th September 2008

Current global health policy is dominated by a preoccupation with infectious diseases and in particular with emerging or re-emerging infectious diseases that threaten to ‘break out’ of established patterns of prevalence or virulence into new areas and new victims. This paper seeks to link a set of dominant narratives about epidemics and infectious disease with…

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Published: 1st May 2008

Haemorrhagic fevers have, par excellence, captured popular and media imagination as deadly diseases to come ‘out of Africa’. Associated with wildlife vectors in forested environments, viral haemorrhagic fevers such as Ebola, Marburg and lassa fever figure high in current concern about so-called ‘emerging infectious diseases’, their hotspots of origin and threat of global spread. Download…

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Published: 1st February 2008

This working paper by Dominic Glover is about the social construction and social shaping of agricultural biotechnology in relation to international development. Genetically modified (GM, transgenic) crops have come to occupy a prominent place in contemporary debates on agricultural development, in relation to a diverse range of issues including productivity and economic growth, food security…

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Published: 19th July 2010

French translation of Innovation, Sustainability, Development: A New Manifesto.

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Published: 25th June 2007

Dynamism, uncertainty and complexity dominate today’s world. Yet many policy interventions ignore this, and so often fail. What is missing is a rigorous and systematic approach to addressing dynamics, one that encompasses an understanding of complex system dynamics and provides a useable guide to action. This paper is a first attempt by the STEPS Centre…

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Published: 25th June 2007

The world has faced a number of health major health challenges over the past few decades – HIV, pollution, chronic illness, SARS. We need national and global health systems that take into account complex interactions between ecology, technology and social organisation.

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Published: 25th June 2007

The ‘modernist’ project that has come to dominate food and agricultural policy has failed to provide sustainable outcomes for many poor people in developing countries. Countering orthodox notions, this paper makes a case for a deeper understanding of diverse ‘rural worlds’ in an era of short-terms shocks and long-terms stresses like climate change.

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Published: 25th June 2007

The challenges of designing new frameworks for social appraisal aimed at sustainability and social justice are reviewed by this paper.

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