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About the Centre for the Future State

Research Programme Summary

Capacity Building Programme
Tax and Governance

About the CFS

The Centre for the Future State is a Development Research Centre funded by the Department for International Development, UK and based at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS). The Centre links IDS researchers with a network of partner organisations and collaborators from Africa, Latin America, South and Southeast Asia, China and Egypt. Phase 1 of the Centre's research programme ran from 2000-2005. Funding for a phase 2 programme was subsequently approved, to run from 2005-2010.

Mission and Objectives

The Centre's mission is to harness the ideas and the research skills of applied social science researchers, in both developing and developed countries, to assist policymakers and citizens to find ways of increasing the effectiveness, accountability and responsiveness of public authority in poorer countries, and thus contribute to reducing poverty.

The Centre has three objectives, reflected in its core activities of research, policy influencing and capacity building:

  • To undertake and disseminate new research on key issues relating to the future of public authority in developing countries.

  • To help important audiences -- including policymakers, politicians, political parties, scholars and civil society organisations -- to understand and engage with the wide range of research that is being published on these issues.

  • To assist researchers from developing countries to contribute more effectively to research and applied development policy debates at regional and global levels.

Our approach

The potential agenda is huge, and our resources are limited. Our aim is to maximise long-term policy impact by:

  • Focusing, for a limited period of time, on a small number of research questions that are regarded as especially important, seem relatively under-explored, and are likely to generate high added value . An example under phase 1 was the links between tax and governance.

  • Based on dissemination of this "beacon” research, encouraging and supporting other researchers to investigate the issues more fully.

  • Identifying, synthesising and disseminating important related research by other scholars, and making it accessible to policymakers.

A central feature of our approach is comparative research , both within and between different countries. This draws on and enhances the knowledge and resources of all CFS partners. Under phase 2 there has been increasing collaboration between Southern partners (for example comparative work on informal institutions in India and Pakistan ). There has also been increasing interaction with Southern policymakers.

Communications Strategy

Finding ways of communicating research findings and making them accessible and relevant to different target audiences is central to achieving the Centre's mission and objectives. We employ a number of different approaches, including:

  • Intensive efforts, over quite long periods of time, to build personal relationships with policymakers, and to involve them at various points in the research process.

  • Linking up with other scholars to stimulate research and collaborate on synthesising and sharing knowledge.

  • Producing written material specifically tailored to a policy audience, using accessible language and drawing out the operational implications.

  • Disseminating specific research findings relevant to policymakers in specific contexts.

  • Making (often opportunistic) links to existing preoccupations of policymakers.

For details of the CFS Communications Strategy.

Management Arrangements

The day-to-day management of the DRC is the responsibility of:

The governing body, responsible for major financial allocations and policy, is the Management Committee (ManCom). This currently comprises:

  • Mick Moore (IDS) - Director of the Centre for Future State
  • Adrian Gurza Lavalle (CEBRAP, Brazil)
  • Ali Cheema (LUMS, Pakistan)
  • Dorothy McCormick (IDS, Kenya)
  • Padmini Swaminathan (MIDS, India)
  • Joseph Ayee (CEPRESE, Ghana)
  • Anuradha Joshi (IDS)
  • Hubert Schmitz (IDS)
  • Andres Mejia Acosta (IDS)

The Centre Advisory and Review Group (CARG) oversees the Centre on behalf of the main funder, DFID, and a range of other stakeholders. The CARG currently comprises:

  • John Toye – Chair (St Anthony's College, Oxford)
  • Max Everest-Philipps (DFID UK)
  • Niraja Gopal Jayal (Jawarlal Nehru University, India)
  • Stefan Kossoff (DFID UK)
  • Mick Moore (IDS)
  • Judith Tendler (MIT, USA)
  • Richard Thomas (DFID UK)
  • Sue Unsworth (DRC Dissemination Advisor)







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