Digitalizing agriculture in Africa: promises and risks of an emerging trend

by Fabio Gatti and Oane Visser  | EADI/ISS Blog Series

The potential of the digitalization of agriculture in Africa to contribute to food security, poverty reduction and environmental sustainability agendas is being increasingly recognized, as shown by growing investment in digital technologies that are supposed to help small-scale farmers to ‘upgrade’ the way they farm. However, these technologies should not be considered panaceas from the get-go and require critical scrutiny to ensure that they will benefit those who need it the most. Continue reading “Digitalizing agriculture in Africa: promises and risks of an emerging trend”

The Battle is on: Civic Space & Land Rights

By Barbara Oosters and Saskia van Veen EADI/ISS Blog Series

My (Barbara)’s fascination and interest for the issue of civic space started in Indonesia. Local organisations struggled with the introduction of a vaguely framed law for Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), warning them not to work on issues going against ‘’Indonesian’’ values. A few years later I found myself supporting initiatives in more than 15 countries spread across the globe, struggling with shifting and shrinking civic space. Continue reading “The Battle is on: Civic Space & Land Rights”

Resource Grabbing in a Changing Environment

By Adwoa Yeboah Gyapong, Amod Shah, Corinne Lamain, Elyse Mills, Natacha Bruna, Sergio Coronado and Yukari Sekine | EADI/ISS Blog Series

We are living in an era where people’s daily lives are deeply intertwined with the impacts of global markets and the threats of climate change. Even good intentions for mitigating and adapting to climate change can jeopardise natural resources and rural livelihoods. These seemingly abstract issues are becoming increasingly clear through both research and the role of the media, sparking questions such as: How do attempts to address climate change prevent farmers from working their lands, or negatively affect the livelihoods of forest users? Why are fishers organising themselves to resist interventions intended to protect marine areas? How do human rights groups and indigenous communities resist the state and powerful companies despite civil society space being increasingly limited? Continue reading “Resource Grabbing in a Changing Environment”

Re-Politizing the European Aid Debate

By Iliana Olivié and Aitor Pérez EADI/ISS Blog Series

The economic, social and political crises that have erupted in Europe in the last decade might be shifting the academic debate on the drivers of aid from the more traditional selfish vs. solidary divide to a -somehow related- new divide on Nationalism vs. Liberalism-Cosmopolitanism. Recent examples are the Brexit process, or the rise of populist movements in Europe. Continue reading “Re-Politizing the European Aid Debate”

Rethinking Empowerment and Accountability in ‘Difficult Settings’

By John Gaventa | EADI/ISS Blog Series

Over the last two decades, development has been replete with theories and interventions focusing on ‘empowerment and accountability’, and how these could contribute to a range of outcomes, be they good governance, social inclusion, and social justice.  Much of the early thinking on these approaches emerged from examples in countries which were then relative open, enjoying perhaps an opening of democratic spaces and opportunities, and a flourishing of civil society – one thinks for instance of Brazil, Philippines, Indonesia, India, South Africa and more? Continue reading “Rethinking Empowerment and Accountability in ‘Difficult Settings’”