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NISD Thought Leaders seminar series

This seminar is part of the 2021  NISD seminar series that brings leading experts together to share knowledge around sustainable development challenges. This first season of the series focuses particularly on sustainable agriculture.


Dr Steve Wiggins – Principal Research Fellow, Overseas Development Institute

All Welcome.

Joining the event

This seminar will take place online. You can join the event by clicking the link below at the event time:



When faced by problems where multiple causes interact to produce unwanted outcomes, it is easy to believe that public responses need to be comprehensive and dramatic. This applies especially when problems are framed in all-embracing terms such as a nexus or a complex system. The Sahel is a case in point, where conflict, environmental pressure, and limited economic development seemingly interact to produce disastrous social outcomes.

But is it really that apparently complex problems require dramatic solutions that are probably politically and socially infeasible?

This seminar will consider to what extent problems are as knotty as they may seem, and why some straightforward and feasible measures may be more effective than initially seems likely.

The seminar will be spilt into three sections with reflections in between:

  1. Tackling rural poverty in southern Peru
  2. Empowering rural women: examples from Thailand, Peru, Bolivia
  3. Unseen agency: how did Southeast Asia develop its farming and rural economies?

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