Participation team online: blogging highlights from 2011


Stephen Wood

As we move into 2012, I thought it would be interesting to reflect upon some of the blog highlights that were written by colleagues in the Participation, Power and Social Change Team at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) since we launched last year:

  • Aid conditionality dominated the headlines again in the latter part of last year when the British Government made an explicit link between aid and Southern countries’ treatment of LGBT human rights. Research Fellow akshay khanna tackled the political fallout of this announcement head-on in a blog post “Aid conditionality and the limits of a politics of sexuality”, when he challenged the usefulness of an LGBT politics that fails to account for the complexity and variety of sexualities outside of dominant western models and how countries such as India and Brazil are leading the way in developing much more nuanced politics of sexuality.
  • With much internationally attention being paid to efforts to increase economic growth, Research Fellow Rosalind Eyben’s blog post, “Care work should be at the heart of a people-centred economy”, was a timely reminder that discussion is still desperately needed around the vast amount of unpaid work existing outside the market economy, that underpins and sustains human wellbeing and yet is unaccounted for by most development organisations. Those taking on these care responsibilities, mostly women, are usually those with least voice and ability to influence policy change that might account for this within societies across the globe.
  • Finally, as the struggle for democratic representation continues across the Middle East, the reports by Research Fellow Mariz Tadros from Cairo on the unruly politics being conducted by Egyptians protesting in Tahrir Square against military rule have been an eye-opening insight into the hopes, fears and challenges experienced by those fighting for change. Her blog post “From unruly politics to ballot boxes: rethinking the terms of democratic engagement in Egypt” was a particularly thought-provoking contribution.

As always, these recommendations only scratch the surface of the rich discussion and debates we have been conducting on our blog. If you haven’t done so already, I really would encourage you to sign up via email to receive each of our blog posts as they are published and engage our authors in dialogue by commenting upon their work.  As we are building up our audience, if you can recommend us to anyone who might be interested in engaging with our work, we’d be appreciative. We have some really exciting material due in the coming weeks and months that you don’t want to miss.

Stephen Wood is the Team Administrative Co-ordinator for the Participation, Power and Social Change research team at IDS and is also a member of the IDS Sexuality and Development Programme. He can be found on Twitter at: StephenWood_UK