How do ideas inform and inspire actions towards a better world? How do practice and facts on-the-ground reshape those ideas?
Development Ideas is a resource for thinkers and practitioners to learn about international development—its origins, how it has changed and spread over time, and how it may evolve.
We published a reference book for scholars, graduate students, practitioners and policy-makers: International Development: Ideas, Experience and Prospects (Oxford University Press, 2014). Over 90 authors—half of whom are researchers from the global South—explain development concepts within their historical contexts, sharing recent thinking and real-world evidence.
Development Ideas grew out of a desire to go beyond this work, distributing it more widely (and free) to classrooms and beyond, and building on the knowledge shared by the book’s authors. Inspired in part by the momentum around the Post-2015 Development Agenda discussions, this website was ‘open’ between 2014-2016 as a space to push some of the concepts further and challenge current (and past) thinking.
Moving forward, this site remains a resource for reflecting on how we think about international development. While the heady world of policy and practice rallies around SDGs and the 2030 Agenda, it remains vital to understand the where these ideas comes from: the history of the concepts and theories used to explain international development.
There are eight central themes that feature throughout the website.
- Learn more using the Study Guide which pushes the reader further with discussion questions and additional reading suggestions.
- A Discussion blog where researchers shared ideas about critical and emerging issues.
- A series of #DevtIDEAS Debates that featured leading development practitioners around the world.
The website is now an online archive highlighting an exchange of ideas at a particular moment in time. We hope it is useful to both seasoned and emerging development thinkers, practitioners, policy-makers and students.
This project was an initiative of Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), in collaboration with the United Nations University (UNU) and the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI). It was edited by:
We invite you to contact us to share your feedback and your own thoughts on the history and future of development.