How the sustainable development goals create a political space to reimagine development

Professor Ian Scoones is the Director of the ESRC STEPS Centre. A previous ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize winner, Professor Scoones recently spoke at the event ‘Reimagining Development in Least Developed Countries: what role for the SDGs?’ in June.

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When the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were agreed in September 2015, there was much expectation about how they could help get sustainability back on the development agenda, and push the international community to develop new approaches to development. Continue reading

Picture of the week: Celebrating Impact Prize winners 2015

The ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize is an annual opportunity to recognise and reward the successes of ESRC-funded researchers who have achieved, or are currently achieving, outstanding economic or societal impacts. It celebrates outstanding ESRC research and success in collaborative working, partnerships, engagement and knowledge exchange activities that have led to significant impact. The 2015 awards ceremony took place in London on 24 June. Here are the 2015 winners.

Building impact over time: experiences from Zimbabwe

Ian Scoones, Director ESRC STEPS Centre, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex – Second prize winner of the ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize for Outstanding International Impact.

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Generating impact takes time. And this is especially so when research challenges conventional wisdoms and entrenched interests. This is the lesson from our ESRC-funded research in Zimbabwe over the past 15 years, through which we have collected data on changing livelihoods following land reform, now in several parts of the country.

Gradually, evidence has accumulated that challenges the oft-repeated narrative that the Zimbabwean land reform of 2000 was an unmitigated disaster. Instead, a more complex picture emerges: some considerable successes, especially among small-scale farmers, and some failures, perhaps especially on the larger-scale farms. Continue reading