INESAD News: Small town parades, chocolate medals and washing up

Development RoastIn an article recently published by popular anthropology blog ‘PopAnth‘, INESAD’s Ioulia Fenton explores the importance of rituals and ceremonies in human society:

“But we agreed that ceremony and ritual are so foolish,” said Yankel to his daughter Brod in Jonathan Safran’s Everything is Illuminated as she took her place as the Float Queen in their town’s annual parade.

“But we also agreed that they are foolish only to those on the outside. I’m the centre of this one,” she replied.

Brod’s answer is a perfect illustration of the enjoyment and meaning that human beings extract from rituals. Anthropologists see rituals as actions performed mainly for their ceremonial value. In other words, it is what they represent that matters and not necessarily what they physically are. In many cases, rituals satisfy our need to be included by others since partaking in community rites inspires feelings of belonging and acceptance. We flock to support national teams at the Olympics, put on masks at Halloween and get very merry on Christmas; all activities that purposefully socialise us into our particular communities, cultures and even nations. Read More »

INESAD is Recruiting: Research and Communications Interns (Remote)

INESADThe Institute for Advanced Development Studies (INESAD) is going through an exciting and dynamic period of change. As part of the expansion, we are implementing a new communications and outreach strategy. The R&C internship with INESAD is a unique opportunity for suitable motivated and adaptable candidates to build research skills at a prestigious institution whilst gaining invaluable hands-on experience of what it takes to drive organizational growth through external communications and outreach. It will also give interns the rare opportunity to research and co-author for and publish academic working papers and articles, as well as op-eds, analyses and other pieces in popular media. The intern’s work will feed into an ambitious 12-month expansion plan and will be carried out remotely. For more details and information on how to apply, please visit our INTERNSHIPS page.




The positions are unpaid. There are several posts available and recruitment will be open until filled.

Press Release: Bolivian Think Tank Ranks as One of the World’s Best

Bolivia’s Institute for Advanced Development Studies (INESAD) is considered the best think tank in the country and one of the best in the world for environmental issues by the recently released Global Go To Think Tank Index.

La Paz, 11 February 2013The Institute for Advanced Development Studies (INESAD), an economic and environmental not-for-profit research institute in La Paz, Bolivia, has made an impression on the world think tank stage. In a recent international survey by the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) of more than 6,500 think tanks, INESAD ranked number one in Bolivia, came in in the top six percent in Latin America and the Caribbean, and finished in the very top percentile of all institutions worldwide on environmental issues. 1,950 scholars, public and private donors, policy makers, and journalists helped rank all the surveyed think tanks using a set of 18 criteria developed by UPenn’s Think Tanks and Civil Society Program (TTCSP) and ranked them into a Global Go To Think Tank Index.

“We are honored to be recognized at the international level. These rankings are a testament to the high quality of work that INESAD researchers carry out, both domestically and internationally, and the increasing impact it has on the policy level,” said Ioulia Fenton, INESAD’s head of communications and outreach.

INESAD works closely with the Bolivian government on environmental and climate change issues in the country. It also engages with specialist and lay audiences in both Spanish and English through its research blogs Dessarollo Sobre La Mesa and Development Roast.

The institute was established in 2008 and has grown in recent years by participating in the Think Tank Initiative, a multi-donor program implemented by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) that is dedicated to strengthening independent policy research institutions in developing countries.

The full TTCSP 2012 report is available for download here.


A PDF version of this press release is available here:

PRESS RELEASE: Bolivian Think Tank Ranks as One of the World’s Best.


Graphics: Why investing in girls and women is key to development

What exactly leads to development is a topic of great debate in academic and practical circles. Proposed cures for underdevelopment vary from providing infrastructure to enacting large-scale macro-economic reforms. Yet, often, there is little conclusive evidence of many solutions’ consistently marked effects on different countries’ economic prosperity or social and environmental cohesion. One factor that does stand out, which is frequently promoted in reports by the likes of the World Bank, United Nations (UN), the OECD, ActionaAid and even Forbes Magazine as the key to achieving all Millennium Development Goals, is investment in the health, education and equality of women.

Read More »

Graphics: Why agriculture needs to be greener

Agriculture has one of the highest potentials for reducing carbon emissions and helping vulnerable people adapt to climate change. As it stands, industrial agriculture that uses toxic chemical inputs of fertilizer and pesticides for growing highly destructive monocultures and antibiotics for animals that are fed unnatural foods in terribly confined conditions is taking a huge toll on the planet. Agriculture is one of the world’s biggest causes of deforestation and, thus, loss of biodiversity and vastly increased rate of species extinction; currently species are disappearing at 50-500 times faster than background fossil record rates. If we continue at current rates, another 10bn ha of natural ecosystems would be converted to agriculture by 2050. This type of land use change is the single most largest contributor to emissions in developing countries, making agriculture responsible for 18 percent of all GHG emissions in the world (74 percent of which are in Developing Countries) – which is larger than the whole of the transport sector. Intensive farming practices have added to soil degradation so much so that 17 percent of Earth´s vegetated land in now classified as degraded. In addition, agriculture consumed 90 percent of global freshwater during the last century and because renewable freshwater stocks are very low, demand from the projected additional 2.3bn people by 2050  will need to be met from existing irrigated land. This is particularly a problem since 64 percent of the world´s population is projected to live in water-stressed areas by 2025. While additional pressures on agriculture are coming from new projects such as carbon sequestration and the rising global demand for biofuel crops. Read More »

INESAD News: Three DevRoast Articles Featured in Media

Development RoastWe are pleased to announce that Dr. Lykke Andersen’s Development Roast article The End of Growth? has been re-posted to Global Economic Intersection. Check it out HERE.

In addition, Ioulia Fenton’s Nourishing the Planet project piece entitled Five Types of Rainforest Ecosystem Services that Nourish People and Planet has been featured in Living Green Magazine. You can read the full article HERE.

Carolynn Look’s summary of the environmental accounting experiences in Europe were also re-posted to Global Economic Intersection. Check out the piece right HERE.

INESAD News: Welcome Tracey Li

Tracey Li has an unusual background for an INESAD intern. She has been passionate about science all her life and studied physics at university before going on to complete a PhD in theoretical particle physics. Afterwards she continued her career as a researcher in Valencia, Spain, where she worked for two years.

At some point she realised that although she still loved physics there were several reasons why she didn’t want to be an academic scientist for the rest of her life. One of the main reasons was a growing desire to use her skills to solve real-world problems that could improve people’s lives in some capacity, rather than abstract mathematical ones. Read More »

Weekend Links: Diabetes and Climate Change—New evidence!

As part of a new Weekend Links series, Development Roast brings to you the following Press Release, originally published earlier this year, by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) describing a study that shows direct connections between climate change and diabetes.

IDF has launched its pioneering Diabetes and Climate Change Report to the backdrop of the United Nations’ Rio+20 meeting on sustainable development. Written by global experts from the health and environment sectors, the Report calls for greater policy alignment to mitigate the risks of type 2 diabetes and climate change. The Report also identifies direct linkages between diabetes and climate change. It urges governments to put both these issues at the heart of sustainable development and to adopt a unified response. Read More »

INESAD News: Remote internships at think tanks: Research, Outreach, and Diplomacy

This week, INESAD’s Ioulia Fenton published the following post about INESAD’s intern team on On Think Tanks:

One thing has become undeniable over the last couple of decades, especially since the beginning of the current global crisis: Getting a foot on the career ladder is increasingly hard. Well qualified students and graduates need to build an ever greater portfolio of internships and volunteering experiences to set themselves apart from the rest. This has especially been the case in international and intellectual work in economics, development, sustainability and the like. In these areas, having a Masters degree in the subject is usually the absolute minimum requirement and  practical experience is a pre-requisite to getting a job, but finding descent research and other opportunities to facilitate that success—that do not require a full-time obligation and can be worked around their studies and other commitments—is difficult at best. By offering remote, home-based internships think tanks can fill a niche and not only offer valuable experience to bright and committed young people, but draw tremendous benefits that build research, outreach and diplomacy capacity of the institution and host country itself. Read More »

Fun Economics October Wrap Up from INESAD

INESADResearch, policy making and general life should be as fun as it is serious, so at INESAD we have let our hair down for an entertaining and productive month:


Having recently implemented a new media and communications strategy, during October INESAD began to reap the rewards. Ioulia Fenton, Adam Nelson and Carolynn Look published two articles as part of the cover story of the October issue Global South Development Magazine and October Development Roast articles by several INESAD staff have been re-posted to almost a dozen different news, research and policy sites, including:

Read More »


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