The International Development Studies Alumni Association of Utrecht University

New research projects International Development Studies

IDS recently received two NWO grants for new research projects in Ethiopia and Mozambique:

Ethiopia: Feeder road development for inclusive productive employment

This 30-month research programme, in collaboration with various state, academic and NGO partners, will investigate the impact of feeder road construction on inclusive growth and productive employment. Road infrastructure – the largest and most widespread public investment in Sub-Saharan Africa - is assumed to be a main driver of productive employment for the economic opportunities created by better access and direct employment opportunities road infrastructure development provides. This assumption is generally unqualified and unquantified, explaining the often single-purpose and non-inclusive planning of road construction. This research will examine employment generation in road development including labour safety aspects; employment generation and changes in local economies including empowerment of labourers and contractors, including post-construction local employment environment and migration; and the impact of roads on their natural environment –in particular soil erosion and hydrology.

Bridging the gaps between policy and practice on land governance,  inclusive business and food security in Mozambique

This 2-year project, led by ActionAid Mozambique, examines in two different rural settings in Mozambique how gender, land rights and business models impact on food security.  By comparing different interventions aiming to strengthen local inclusive development, and finding synergies between medium- and large scale agribusiness investments and the local private sector, including  smallholder farming and micro- and small (women) enterprises,this participatory action research aims to identify the main conditions for successful development of local livelihoods and food security in a context of foreign investments. A key focus is on the gender and land rights dimensions of the interventions. Research outcomes will be translated into policy recommendations via knowledge platforms, and feed policy dialogue and changes.

Battle of Ideas: student competition for development challenges

Develop an idea that moves the world, work with experts and have a chance to win up to 7500 euro. Interested? Visit the website or facebook for more information and to register for the kick-off and matchmaking event on 26 June in Utrecht. The Battle of Ideas is a competition of WOTRO Science for Global Development, a division of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.

Upcoming round table discussion on the solidarity economy

TNI will be hosting a round table discussion on the emerging field of solidarity economy. The event will be lead by Vish Satgar and Hilary Wainright, editor and contributor respectively of The Solidarity Economy Alternative: Emerging Theory and Practice.  The event will be held in Amsterdam on May 28 from 16:00 to 18:00. For full details see here

Upcoming round table discussion South Africa in BRICS: Salvation or ruination?

TNI will be hosting a round table discussion on April 30 on South Africa's position as a BRICS members. The event will lead by Dr William Gumede, author of South Africa in BRICS: Salvation or ruination? For further details and registration see here

Hungry for Justice film & debate series coming to Utrecht

FIAN's Hungry for Justice film and debate series will be coming to Utrecht University on March 20, 27, and April 3 & 10. The series features key documentaries on the world food system, resources conflicts and alternatives. Each screening will be followed by debates with filmmakers, experts and audience members. See here for full programme, location details and how to make a reservation.

Upcoming event! Expert meeting on decent work and the garment industry

The India Committee of the Netherlands, Clean ClothesCampaign, FNV Mondiaal and SOMO invite you for an expert meeting “Towardsdecent work in the Indian textile and garment industry and the role of theNetherlands”.

Three guests from South India will speak about their workand share their perspective on measures that can be taken to curb Sumangali andother labor rights abuses in the Indian garment sector, with a focus on supplychain responsibility of Dutch buying companies.You can find full details here.

IDS newsletter: October/November

Interested in what's happening at IDS? Check out our September/October newsletter here!

First Land Forum: 8 and 9 November

LANDac's first international Land Forum takes place on November 8 and 9 in Utrecht! The Land Forum addresses a concern that has attracted much attention in recent years: large-scale acquisitions of land in developing countries, often by foreign investors, that may compete with the interests and livelihood requirements of local communities. The Land Forum aims at bringing together selected representatives from government, civil society and the private sector from Brazil, Ethiopia, Uganda, Mozambique, South Africa and Indonesia to discuss ways of optimizing the link between investments in land, food security and sustainable development.

With €275,000 euros awarded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, LANDac will host three international Land Forums over the next three years. For more information, contact LANDac Coordinator Gemma Betsema.

IDS-led consortium receives climate change research funding

An international consortium led by IDS has recently been awarded a 500,000 grant under the NWO Conflict and Cooperation over Natural Resources in Developing Countries call. Grants are awarded for research into the impact of climate change and climate policy on conflict and cooperation in developing countries. The consortium, comprised of North and South research partners, will conduct a study over three years on the relationship between climate change interventions and local conflict or cooperation in Ghana, Burkina Faso and Kenya.

About the project

In an increasingly dry climate, declining soil fertility and increasing population, there are more and more conflicts between small-scale farmers and nomadic pastoralists in arid regions in Africa. In addition, climate change interventions often focus on farming techniques and agricultural land use, which may not end in the desired result. According to Femke van Noorloos, "In these areas, numerous governments and NGOs are starting projects to tackle climate change. The projects are most often very technical in nature and do not focus on the social side of the problem. We will examine how we can better manage conflicts for example between farmers and nomads, but also within households. Furthermore we will chart the level of participation and inclusiveness of the projects themselves - how farmers, nomads but also women and ethnic minorities are involved. The results will be implemented directly within our project."

Just released - IDS and MVO Nederland: CSR in Africa's Agro-food sector

MVO Nederland commissioned IDS to conduct a study on Corporate Social Responsibility and agro-entrepreneurs in five African countries including Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Mozambique and South Africa. You can read the press release and access the report, titled Corporate Social Responsibility in the agro-food sector - the contribution of Dutch and European agro-entrepreneurs to sustainable local development and food security in Africa, here.

Save the date! Knowledge for development: First annual intro/alumnidag

On September 6, 2013, help us welcome incoming International Development Studies and Sustainable Development– International Development Master students as well as celebrate IDSAA’s First Annual Alumnidag where we welcome the new recruits, come together for lively debates, and connect students and recent graduates with international development professionals.


Knowledge for development: First annualintro/alumnidag

September 6, 2013 | 13:15 to 18:00
Ruppert building: Wit room

Leuvenlaan 19

3584 CE Utrecht


13:15 – 13:30

Welcome and introduction by Professor Dr. Annelies Zoomers

Launch of the IDS in the Spotlight series. Presentations to be followed by discussion.

13:30 – 14:30

International migration: part of the problem or part of the solution?

Béla Hovy, Chief ofMigration, Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations

14:30 – 15:00

Coffee break

15:00 – 16:00

Food security in Ethiopia – what prospects?

Willem Olthof, European Commission, DG DEVCO

16:00 – 16:15

Launch of the IDSAA website

16:15 – 17:00

'Africa, Asia and Latin America in Utrecht'

Student photo contest

17:00 – 18:00

Drinks in the Ruppert Foyer


Through lectures by highly distinguished guests on pressing global issues, IDSAA events offer a vibrant platform for debate in international development affairs.

About our speakers

Willem Olthof works for the Directorate-General for Development Cooperation (DG DEVCO) of the European Commission. Before coordinating the cooperation program with Ethiopia and acting as focal point on food security, he was tasked with the design of the EU Food Facility and the development of EU food security policies. Mr. Olthof was also an economic adviser in the EU Delegations in Sierra Leone,Ethiopia and Ghana as well as a lecturer at the universities of Addis Ababa, Zimbabwe and at the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague.

Béla Hovy is Chief of the Migration Section of the United Nations Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, New York. From 1993 to 2005, he was responsible for statistics at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva, Switzerland. Mr. Hovy has carried out numerous missions to improve refugee registration and operational data in the field and has drafted reports on asylum, refugee and international migration, demographic aspects of forced migration, and on the comparability of international migration data.