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Institute of Development Studies


When IDS was established in 1966, it was one of the first institutes of its kind. Now there are many more development research organisations and think tanks, both in the North and, increasingly, in the South. However, IDS remains distinctive in its commitment and approach to development. We see our current strengths relying primarily on our:

  • People-centred perspective on development which recognises the many faces of poverty, and the way that power differentials can mediate progress towards equity, justice and poverty reduction
  • Integrated ways of working, combining research, teaching and communications work. IDS is one of the only development organisations that is a world leader in all three spheres. We work hard to integrate these elements as we recognise the positive synergies that their interaction generates
  • Multidisciplinary approach which we see as essential in tackling the complex and multifaceted challenges of development
  • Unique network of partners and contacts which stretches from international agencies to grassroots activists and spans civil society, governments, the business sector and the media
  • Reputation and credibility. Built up over 40 years, this provides IDS with the convening power to bring together leading players in development policy and practice and to capture the attention of a wide audience.