In your own way
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Into the Door of Global Development: a Conversation with Donal Brown, Director of DFID’s Global Funds Department

“In a world where we are no longer a part of the EU, it might become even more important to show that we are very much connected to the world.” 

UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) has played an important role and offered crucial support to the education and health sectors of various countries. Say for Development is interested in learning about the personal stories and career path of development professionals who play key roles in aid agencies, as well as their thoughts about international development.

Say for Development had the opportunity to have a conversation with Dr. Donal Brown*, Director and Board Member of Global Health and Education Funds at DFID. With more than 25 years of experience in international development, Donal shares how he started his career in international development, gives advice to young aspiring development professionals and offers his perspectives on DFID’s role in this post-Brexit era.


Power and Women’s Empowerment in the Context of Violence against Women

Yangchen Dolkar Dorji*


Power is crucial in understanding social science. In this article, the author discusses the shift of gender discourses on the basis of the theories of power. She argues that, violence against women cannot be addressed without analysing the layers of power that exist not only between men and women but in relation to the state, society (including other women) and themselves. By being sensitive to the intersectionality of power, it is possible for development actors and agencies to empower women through influencing more equitable and inclusive structural reforms and by providing a more conducive environment for women’s rights or rights of any marginalised group.


Development Photography in ‘Africa’ – What’s with the dirty torn clothes?

Chimwemwe Manyozo*

In March 2015, I was at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol en route to Malawi. While at the airport I came across a big billboard by UNICEF of a dirty black child, possibly from ‘Africa’, and wearing tattered clothes. This picture took me back to the debate about representation of poor people in the development discourse. Is this image a representation of the state of this child’s life? Or is this a picture that might help the public to donate their money to support the region where this child comes from?

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The People at the Brim: Cambodia


Ricci P.H. Yue*

In the Far East, Cambodians are enjoying their fastest rate of urbanisation in history. The end of decades of civil war led to rapid economic growth, and this force began to pull villagers to the capital city, Phnom Penh. The life of a farmer is not easy. Poverty drives them away from the rural areas and the neon lights of city attract these farmers to migrate to the city.

Demonstrators march through downtown Atlanta to protest the shootings of two black men by police officers, Friday, July 8, 2016. Thousands of people marched along the streets of downtown to protest the recent police shootings of African-Americans. Atlanta Police Chief George Turner and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said earlier in the day that people have the right to protest this weekend but urged them to cooperate with law enforcement. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Black Lives Matter – Unpacking a Social Movement

Chimwemwe Manyozo*


People mobilisation is a common tool used to challenge state authority. In the United States (U.S.), since 2013, people have joined Black Lives Matter marches in different states to challenge police brutality. More than 1,030 protest actions have been held in the name of Black Lives Matter. Following Jesse Williams’ speech at the 2016 BET awards, and the recent death of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, Black Lives Matter has taken centre stage again, reviving the conversation on mainstream and social media. This paper unpacks Black Lives Matter as a social movement by tracing back the definitions of people’s mobilisation and social movements.

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Understanding Social Protection: a Conversation with Stephen Devereux and Keetie Roelen

“We have reached a point where we now know that social protection is here to stay …and this provides a solid base to go forward.”

Social protection, despite being a relatively new term in development, has drawn a lot of attention, debates and discussions. Many governments, international organisations, donors and NGOs have adopted social protection into their policy agenda in recent years. The Centre for Social Protection at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), founded in 2005, is a global hub for developing cutting-edge thinking on social protection. Say for Development had the opportunity to have a conversation with two co-Directors of the Centre, Stephen Devereux* and Keetie Roelen*.


Can an Authoritarian Regime represent its People? The Case of Vietnam

Do Ngoc Thao*  


In this paper, the author argues that in Vietnam, although the result of the election of the National Assembly (NA) is regarded as transparent and there is no electoral fraud, it is heavily controlled by the Vietnam Communist Party (the Party), thus leading to the misrepresentation of the delegates in the NA. Claiming to represent the interest of the people in the socialist state, the VCP, however, fails to make decisions upon the interests of the people.


Development Issues: Experience from an Administrative Unit of Bangladesh

Mustafa Murshed*

You are hearing from Bangladesh, a ‘development surprise’ in recent times for the rest of the world due to its cumulative success on socio-economic advancement. The Economist published an editorial on November 3, 2012, about Bangladesh titled ‘out of the basket’. The Guardian addressed it as a ‘new wave economics’. According to the Guardian on December 18, 2012, the economy of Bangladesh is expected to overtake western countries by 2050. The Goldman Sachs highlighted Bangladesh as one of the ‘Next 11’ emerging economies. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, Bangladesh will become the 23rd largest economy in the world by 2050 (Bangladesh ranks 34th now).


Do the Poor Benefit from Trade Liberalisation? Why?

Shadlee Rahman*


Taking Bangladesh as a case, this article critically looks into trade liberalisation and discusses whether the poor can benefit from it. The Author argues that trade liberalisation can indeed benefit the poor, given the presence of complementary transmission mechanisms. However, in the absence of this, it becomes very difficult to find a causal relationship between the two. The challenge is to find the elements crucial for poverty alleviation both between and within countries to help the weak and marginalised.


Why (Chemical) Castration Will Not End Gender and Sexuality Based Violence in Indonesia

Priliantina Bebasari*

While the international media were busy highlighting the Stanford rape and Brazil gang-rape cases, another gang-rape, followed by murder, of a 14 year-old girl named Yuyun has also happened in Indonesia. Despite a lack of international media attention, this is an atrocity as severe as the incidents that the media has been highlighting recently. One case in Indonesia, in particular, has attracted the public attention, which led to the National Commission on the Anti Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan) calling for “emergency status of sexual violence”. Despite so, discrimination against women and the marginalised groups continues to exist.


A Reflection on Myself and A Few Development Policies

Mahmudul Hoque Moni*


Reflective Practice and Social Change module at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) inspired me to write a reflective piece on myself. I have been a photographer for the last eight years, and I have made a number of documentary films including a short video on the British Library for Development Studies (BLDS)1 this year. Earlier I showcased my photographs at the event ‘150 Shades of Perspective: A photographic exhibition’ at IDS which mostly depicted my journey at the UK and in the IDS. These activities prompted me towards reflecting on my own life. As a student of development studies, I find it worth to critically think about the impact of development policies on various spheres of my life.