POVERTY, POWER RELATIONS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE (PPRSJ) RESEARCH GROUP
This research group is hosted at the Institute for Development Studies (IDS) in Enugu Campus.
Focus: Poverty and income/wealth distribution; inequality and inclusiveness; post 2015 agenda (Sustainable Development Goals); vulnerability; as well as participation in governance and development process.
Building on an innovative conceptual framework that sees inclusive growth as economic growth coupled with declining inequality of opportunity, is the target in addressing measurement and policy design questions such that economic growth can be made to work to the benefit of a wide group of citizens. This has always been a challenge of economic development.
In responding to the escalating poverty trends across many developing countries especially the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), which predated the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by a number of years, this research group interest is on how to intricate the idea that economic growth is necessary but not sufficient for poverty reduction. Most SSA countries have recorded interesting growth trends in the past decade or two yet poverty trends especially from multi-dimensional approach have remained a reoccurring bug and hence the need for complementary measures that will eventually align poverty reduction to long-term and stable growth. The group hopes that series of research can help policy makers to come up with different policy designs and implementation strategies that can achieve such goal. Such action can only be possible through reliable information on the key aspects of poverty including subgroups of the population that are most affected by poverty, the determinants of poverty and how poverty has changed over time across states, regions and nations. Information on cost determination as well as the feasibility of implementing antipoverty measures is also vital for goals attainment.
Participation in the governance have been viewed as one of the criteria for complete and inclusive development. This is to explored looking at possible strategies that can make the provision of public services viewed as collaboration between governments, on the one hand, and the households on the other with a two-way flow of information, with governments constantly ‘listening’ to households and households, in turn, being informed of government’s objectives and their rights under explicit contracts or covenants.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education – have been regarded as a milestone in global and national development efforts. This is because it has helped to galvanize development efforts and guide global and national development priorities. While three of the eight goals have been achieved prior to the final deadline of 2015 progress has been uneven within and across countries. Thus further efforts and a strong global partnership for development are needed to accelerate progress towards the new agenda which is the Post 2015 Agenda or Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In continuation of the quest for achieving the new agenda, research themes geared at answering the following questions will be explored:
- Why is inequality a critical topic in the context of the post-2015 discussions?
- What are the key dimensions of inequality?
- How can inequality be integrated into the post-2015 framework?
- How best can such integration be carried out?
- How can participation in governance process help to creates responsive citizens?
Group Coordinator: Onyukwu E. Onyukwu (Economics and Development Studies)
Onyukwu Onyukwu is a Development Economist and Associate Professor of Economics, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Currently, he is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Development Studies, University of Nigeria Enugu Campus, Enugu, Nigeria. He was formerly the head of the department. He is an alumnus of the Cambridge University Advanced Programme on Rethinking Development Economics (CAPORDE). He holds a Masters Degree in Economics from University of Nigeria, Nsukka and another Masters Degree in Development Studies from Leeds University, United Kingdom. He has taught Development Economics at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels among other undergraduate courses for several years. He has broad and rich knowledge base necessary for meaningful development policy articulation. He has to his credit more than forty publications in academic journals, monographs, referred conference proceedings, book chapters and technical reports. He is a development policy expert and consultant trainer, and has held more than fifteen short-term consultancy positions for several international organizations like the DFID, UNDP, DAI and the World Bank, and for different government institutions. He is a member of Nigerian Economic Society (NES), International Development Economics Associates (IDEAs), American Economic Association, Economists’ Inn, Network of Migration Research on Africa (NOMRA), and World Bank’s Environmental Economics and Policy Network (EEPNet). He is a certified public debt management consultant by the Nigeria’s Debt Management Office (DMO).
Group Member: Uzochukwu Amakom (Statistics and Economics)
Uzochukwu Amakom is trained as an Economist with a strong background in Applied Statistics. He holds a Ph.D. in International Economics and Development. He is a Visiting Fellow to the Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), Department of Economics, University of Oxford, United Kingdom; National Institute for Legislative Studies (NILS), Abuja, Nigeria; and the United Nations African Institute for Economic Development and Planning (UN-IDEP), Dakar, Senegal. He has published extensively in reputable journals and books on poverty and income/wealth distribution; public finance and public policy issues; firm level analyses; gender related issues; as well as divestment of government enterprises.
Uzochukwu was a member of the team that developed the first National Policy on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) for Nigeria and played an active role in the development of the background paper towards the ECOWAS Common Agricultural Policy (ECOWAP). He is currently an active member of the African Programme on Rethinking Development Economics (APORDE) and the Postgraduate External Examiner for the Department of Economics, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa as well as the Department of Population Studies, University of Western Cape, South Africa. He is highly dexterous in the use of economic (econometrics and social) computer application packages.
Group Member: Isife, Chima Theresa (Biochemistry and Development Studies)
Isife, Chima Theresa currently holds an appointment as Associate Research Fellow I at the Institute for Development Studies (IDS), University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus. She is currently working on Poverty Assessment Tools for Poverty Reduction; as well as issues around Gender, Children and Development. Her research focus in the next five years revolves around health poverty and inequality with special emphasis on women and children as well as Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH). She intends to continue to look for not just policy solutions to child survival but also at natural methods that can help in the reduction of infant and child mortality in Nigeria.