Policy outputs

  • How Do State–Business Relations Shape Sustainable Development?

    Thorpe, J; Mader, P IDS
    IDS Policy Briefing, 2017
    The achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals will depend on the ways in which states and businesses engage with one another. While state–business interactions can take many forms, they inherently involve processes of negotiation through which actors in both camps pursue their own interests. Successfully accelerating sustainability, generating inclusion or reducing inequalities will depend on whether such negotiations build on and support interdependencies, create trust, and develop shared ideas about challenges and potential solutions. But the factors that determine the nature and outcomes of state–business relations are not yet well-enough understood, particularly in relation to goals beyond economic growth, where trade-offs are often more apparent.
  • State–Business Relations Beyond Growth: Bringing in Development

    Ayele, Seife; Mader, Philip; Thorpe, Jodie; Gu, Jing; Morales, Mar Maestre; Reed, Philip IDS
    IDS Evidence Report, 2016
    The signatories of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have called on a wide range of businesses ‘to apply their creativity and innovation’ to address sustainable development challenges. Yet the role of business in contributing to development depends profoundly on its interaction with the state. This paper asks how states and businesses interact in different contexts to shape development outcomes. A considerable literature has explored state–business relations in producing investment and growth, and the factors that make these relations effective. However, most of these studies either weakly reflect or fail to reflect: (a) the process of interactions and how these are shaped by, and at the same time shape, the power and interests of the actors involved; (b) different political and economic contexts; and (c) the implications of state–business relations beyond economic growth. The paper makes the case for analysing state–business relations beyond economic impacts, by considering the implications of these interactions for three defining challenges of the early twenty-first century – namely inequality, exclusion and environmental degradation. Through a review of four case studies from Chile, Tanzania, India and Ethiopia, the paper explores the actors, structures and processes of state–business relations, along with development outcomes achieved. We employ the concept of ‘negotiation’ as a metaphor to describe the ongoing interaction that is state–business relations, in order to move the frame of analysis towards a goal-oriented process and to highlight the importance of power and interests in relation to these goals. Building on the case studies, we suggest three ways forward to develop clearer models of state–business relations in development. These are: (1) understanding state–business relations in different institutional contexts, how they emerge and how they operate, and their implications for development outcomes; (2) identifying specific factors that shape the process of state–business relations; and (3) explaining developmental effectiveness of state–business relations, considering also trade-offs and contradictions between different development goals. The challenge of developing adequate frameworks for understanding constantly evolving state–business relations in development is large; but given renewed calls for states and businesses to work together for development, the issues identified here should expectably have a central place on the research agenda.
  • Reclaiming the Streets for Women’s Dignity: Effective Initiatives in the Struggle against Gender-Based Violence in between Egypt’s Two Revolutions

    Tadros, Mariz IDS
    IDS Evidence Report, 2014
    This paper is about the struggle to combat gender-based violence in public space in Egypt through the sustained collective action of vigilante groups who organically formed to respond to the increasing encroachment on women in public space from 2011 onwards. The study examines the emergence of a distinct form of collective action (informal youth-led activism aimed at addressing sexual violence in public space) at a very distinct historical juncture in the country’s history: the phase after the ousting of President Mubarak in February 2011 through what became known as the 25th of January Revolution and up to the ousting of President Morsi in what became controversially known as the 30th of June Revolution of 2013.
  • Therapeutic Activism: Men of Hope Refugee Association Uganda Breaking the Silence over Male Rape in Conflict-related Sexual Violence

    Edström, J; Dolan, C; Shahrokh, T; David, O IDS
    IDS Evidence Report, 2016
    Men’s experiences as victims of sexual and gender-based violence remain little recognised in research, policy or practice. Mainstream narratives generally continue to depict men as perpetrators of violence and women as victims. Yet, having been linked to forced migration in contexts of armed conflict, sexual violence against men is slowly becoming recognised as far more widespread than was previously thought. Responding to this, the Institute of Development Studies approached the Refugee Law Project and Men of Hope Refugee Association Uganda in order to jointly design and carry out a study on collective action among male survivors of conflict-related sexual violence. This report explores one central question addressed by the study: ‘despite the odds stacked against them, what makes it possible for male survivors of conflict-related sexual violence to organise and become activists, challenging discriminatory social and gender norms?’ The study finds that, despite pervasive discrimination, groups of male survivors have been able to develop resilience and mutual support through collective action. Further, the study finds that third-party service providers and non-governmental organisations can play an important support role in reinforcing the resilience and capacity of male survivors to organise collectively. The report addresses the overarching question through three main sub-questions: 1. How can looking at male survivors of sexual violence help us understand the complexity of men’s relationship to sexual and gender-based violence? 2. How and why do groups of male survivors of conflict-related sexual violence respond to their experiences of violence, oppression, stigmatisation and marginalisation, including as refugees? 3. How does the individual agency of male survivors of sexual violence living as refugees interact with collective action to respond to the experience of violence and marginalisation?
  • Building Alliances to Address Sexual and Gender-based Violence

    Nesbitt-Ahmed, Z IDS
    IDS Policy Briefing, 2015
    It is now widely accepted that effective strategies to end sexual and gender-based violence must engage with men and boys. In practice, however, the relationship between traditional women’s rights movements and organisations working on engaging men and boys is an uneasy one. There is a necessity to understand these tensions between women’s movements and work with men. We must address feminist concerns about the exclusion of women’s rights, moving away from the ‘men as protectors’ approach and take seriously concerns of lack of funding in specific areas. Alongside this, exploring opportunities for learning across movements will be integral to building better alliances in the future.
  • Towards More Inclusive Strategies to Address Gender-Based Violence

    Shahrokh, T IDS
    IDS Policy Briefing, 2015
    Sexual and gender-based violence is persistent and devastating, rooted deeply in the lives of men, women, boys and girls globally. Gendered violence does not exist in isolation, and is intertwined with other forms of power, privilege and social exclusion. Processes of marginalisation, unhelpful binary views and institutional discrimination only serve to create, embed, and exacerbate sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). Understanding and sharing lessons around the complex social differences that surround SGBV is vital if change is going to happen, and this is particularly with reference to collective action and the role of men and boys. Taking an ‘intersectional analysis’ approach can help to realise the tangled nature of SGBV and how cross-movement alliance building and the sharing of best practice is crucial in tackling this violence.
  • ‘They Call Me Warrior’: The Legacy of Conflict and the Struggle to End Sexual and Gender-based Violence in Sierra Leone

    Mills, Elizabeth; Nesbitt-Ahmed, Z; Diggins, J; Mackieu, T.D IDS
    IDS Evidence Report, 2015
    A relatively small country with just over 6 million people, Sierra Leone has been the focus of considerable public and policy attention because of the recent Ebola epidemic and, before that, the decade-long civil war. Given the concern with finding ways to ‘build Sierra Leone differently’ in the post-Ebola context (IDS 2015), this paper considers some of the legacies of the country’s history. It focuses on gender and the emergence of a dynamic network of actors that reveal not only the country’s history of violence but also its capacity for ‘rebuilding differently’ to foster resilience and create long-term social transformation. During the war, from 1991 to 2002, an estimated 50,000 people were killed and more than 500,000 were forced to flee their homes to escape violence. Statistics can never sufficiently capture the horror of the war, but they can indicate the extent to which multiple forms of violence permeated people’s lives. The legacy of violence is equally difficult to quantify but, as we found in our fieldwork in Sierra Leone from 2014 to 2015, it is woven into people’s everyday lives, and particularly in their sense of trust in each other and in formal and informal institutions. This report focuses on one particularly pernicious form of violence – sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) – as it is, and was, experienced by men and women. The impact of the war and the country’s transition to democracy surfaces in lesser known ways too; in this paper we describe how networks of actors emerged in refugee camps and coalesced around a shared struggle to transform harmful gender relations and end violence. Based on fieldwork with these actors, we outline some of the social, economic and infrastructural challenges they face in their work to collectively foster gender equality and end SGBV. According to the activists we engaged with in Sierra Leone, the challenge of addressing SGBV has sometimes been exacerbated by a limited conception of development, which too often assumes that models for social and economic ‘progress’ can be imported and implanted into highly complex contexts. Far greater attention therefore needs to be paid to local specificity, to the effects of sexual and gender violence on all genders, and to the recommendations made by those people and organisations working to create sustained and positive change in these complex contexts. The findings of this study speak to this complexity and are organised, first, around the factors that underpin SGBV and, second, around the key actors working to transform harmful gender dynamics through collective action.
  • The New ‘MASVAW Men’: Strategies, Dynamics and Deepening Engagements. A Case Study of a Networked Approach to Challenging Patriarchy Across Institutions in Uttar Pradesh

    Edström, J; Shahrokh, T; Singh, S.K. IDS
    IDS Evidence Report, 2015
    Uttar Pradesh is ranked second among Indian states in ‘crimes against women’, which includes rape, abduction, dowry-related deaths, mental and physical torture and sexual harassment (Government of Uttar Pradesh 2006: 130). The majority of such crimes against women are committed by family members, but this gendered violence and inequality also permeates the broader economy, systems and structures that govern everyday life. During the past 10–15 years, the issue of gender equality has been raised by civil society and government, and there have been some positive changes too. Yet, there is increasing fear among some men about decreasing opportunities as a result of women’s empowerment, reflected in the evolution of ‘men’s rights’ organisations, with anti-feminist agendas (Chowdhury 2014). Bucking this trend, since 2002, a growing group of men have built an engagement for addressing gender-based violence (GBV), in Men’s Action to Stop Violence Against Women, or MASVAW. This case study explores the role of men and boys in addressing sexual and gender-based violence through collective action; a collaboration between the Centre for Health and Social Justice in New Delhi, the network MASVAW in Uttar Pradesh, and the Institute of Development Studies in the United Kingdom. This partnership grew in an attempt to problematise and politicise the way the terms of the debate were being set in the broader field of engaging men in addressing GBV in the development field.
  • Turning the Tide: The Role of Collective Action for Addressing Structural and Gender-based Violence in South Africa

    Mills, Elizabeth; Shahrokh, T; Wheeler, J; Black, G; Cornelius, R; van den Heever, L IDS
    IDS Evidence Report, 2015
    The case study discussed in this Evidence Report explores the value and limitations of collective action in challenging the community, political, social and economic institutions that reinforce harmful masculinities and gender norms related to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). As such, the concept of structural violence is used to locate SGBV in a social, economic and political context that draws histories of entrenched inequalities in South Africa into the present. The research findings reinforce a relational and constructed understanding of gender emphasising that gender norms can be reconfigured and positively transformed. We argue that this transformation can be catalysed through networked and multidimensional strategies of collective action that engage the personal agency of men and women and their interpersonal relationships at multiple levels and across boundaries of social class, race and gender. This collectivity needs to be conscious of and engaged with the structural inequalities that deeply influence trajectories of change. Citizens and civil society must work with the institutions – political, religious, social and economic – that reinforce structural violence in order to ensure their accountability in ending SGBV.
  • MASVAW Movement Mapping Report: Movement Mapping and Critical Reflection with Activists of the Men’s Action to Stop Violence Against Women (MASVAW) Campaign, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, August 2014

    Shahrokh, T; Edström, J; Kumar, M; Singh, S.K IDS
    IDS Evidence Report, 2015
    Engaging men and boys in addressing gender-based violence has grown in attention over the past 20 years. However, the emerging field predominantly focuses on the issues as a problem of individuals, neglecting the role of the institutions and policies that shape norms of gender inequality and perpetuate violent power asymmetries between men and women in people’s everyday lives (Cornwall, Edström and Grieg 2011). Men’s engagement in addressing GBV has therefore tended to be relatively depoliticised, focusing predominantly on individuals’ attitude and behaviour change, and less on accountability of the structures that uphold patriarchal power relations and male supremacy, such as macroeconomic policies and the governance cultures of many formal and informal institutions. This movement mapping report thus introduces a collaborative research project between the Centre for Health and Social Justice (CHSJ), India, their local activist partners in the Men’s Action to Stop Violence Against Women (MASVAW) campaign and the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) to explore the effectiveness of men’s collective action in addressing GBV. CHSJ is working across India on the issue of mobilising men to transform discriminatory norms into those based on equity, equality and gender justice to ensure the fundamental human rights of all people. The research is premised on the notion that challenging patriarchy and working towards gender equality must include working with men and boys to understand their privileges as well as the co-option, coercion and subjugation that they also face within a patriarchal system. In turn, we aim to improve understanding and knowledge of the changing roles of men in addressing GBV and how and why collective action holds possibilities as an effective strategy to support this in the Indian context. This research is exploring the actors, strategies, challenges, collaborations and pathways for future engagement of the MASVAW campaign that works across the state of Uttar Pradesh.