Manchester researchers launch global consortium on poverty
07 Apr 2011
The Government’s Department for International Development (DFID) has awarded £6.25 million over six years to University of Manchester researchers, who will lead an international consortium dedicated to tackling poverty.
The cash will fund the Effective States and Inclusive Development research centre (ESID) at the University’s School of Environment and Development (SED), launched on Thursday (7 April) with a panel discussion.
Speakers from the Overseas Development Institute, the Ugandan Ministry of Finance, civil society movement Slum Dwellers International and the UK government’s Department for International Development will take part in the event chaired by Professor David Hulme, CEO of ESID.
The centre’s main task will be to identify the forms of politics that can lead to progressive development outcomes in different areas of the world with a particular focus on poverty reduction.
It will investigate how developing world governments and aid donors can improve the services delivered to poor people - such as health, education, social protection and other areas - as well as stimulating growth and employment.
The University is already home to one of the largest concentrations of poverty-related researchers in Europe at the Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM) and the Brooks World Poverty Institute (BWPI).
Manchester’s partners will be Harvard in the USA, BRAC University in Bangladesh, the Institute of Economic Growth in India, the Centre for Democratic Development in Ghana, the University of Malawi and independent researchers in Uganda.
Dr Sam Hickey and Professor Kunal Sen will be the centre’s Research Directors. They and David Hulme, the CEO, are all based at The University of Manchester.
“The big question we are asking is how can poor people gain access to employment opportunities and good-quality services while strengthening their political voice,” said Professor Hulme.
“The ideas developed at the centre will inform research and policies on how best to build effective and accountable states.
“We will undertake in-depth and comparative primary research to understand how effectively governments work, and how they work best with business and civic institutions to help promote development.”
Dr Hickey said: “The politics of development is undergoing significant changes at the moment, from the rise of new global powers to the discovery of new economic resources in many poor countries.
“Our research will try and identify how the current context helps shape the possibilities of securing effective and legitimate forms of pro-poor politics”.
Prof Sen said: “We need to find out how states and governments can dedicate more time and effort to tackling poverty.
“It is about understanding how political elites become committed to promoting development, how public bodies become more accountable to poor people and how to support these processes in developing countries.
“Our research will provide clear guidance about what can be done to get services delivered to the poor people in ways that make states more capable, committed and accountable.”