Publications

These 600 publications include: short E-Learning Reading Packs by international experts; Helpdesk Reports that quickly summarise the literature on specific questions from practitioners; more in-depth Literature Reviews on key issues and Conflict Analyses of particular contexts; and broader Topic Guides providing overviews of research evidence.

Youth unemployment and violence

This literature review looks at whether there is evidence of a causal link between youth unemployment and violence in developing countries, focusing on crime, gang violence and domestic violence. It also looks at female youth unemployment, donor programming, and areas where more research is needed. A causal link between youth unemployment and violence is widely assumed, but ...» more

Urban governance

Seoul sunrise panorama

What is urban governance and why does it matter? How can key urban policy issues be addressed? This topic guide introduces the literature on urban governance and its relationship to growth and poverty reduction. It considers the key debates and issues, and sets out some implications for practice on specific urban governance challenges. ...» more

CSOs supporting accountability in cash transfer programmes

Cash transfer programmes, like most social protection programmes, are vulnerable to fraud, errors, corruption and misuse of funds, which undermine their achievements.  Civil society organisations (CSOs) have supported, or provided, accountability mechanisms in countries around the world: working to improve transparency to help citizens hold authorities accountable; checking ...» more

Poverty and conflict

Poverty and conflict are widely understood to be closely interconnected; with poverty making countries more prone to civil war, and armed conflict weakening governance and economic performance, thus increasing the risk of conflict relapse (Goodhand 2001). The selected readings in this pack move beyond reductive and harmful assumptions about ‘pathologies’ of poverty to examine the […]

Dominant party systems and development programming

There is a lack of applied thinking or rigorous empirical investigation into how donors and the international community can work with dominant party systems to promote more responsive state-society relations, or other forms of development progress. Frequently cited examples of existing research are not based on recent, systematic comparative research and focus mainly on ...» more

Sustainable livelihoods in Ugandan refugee settings

Uganda has hosted refugees from neighbouring conflict-affect countries for several decades. Some research suggests that self-employed refugees are somewhat more successful than employed refugees, but there is little concrete evidence from Uganda that current refugee livelihood strategies are successfully fostering self-reliance and sustainable solutions. Most of the available ...» more

Effects of respect for international humanitarian law on displacement

Much of the literature agrees that violence against civilians is the primary driver of displacement. However, while a few causalities can be considered established, authors frequently note that findings are either correlations (rather than causalities), or that the causalities need clarification. High-quality literature on population movements has long demonstrated that, even ...» more

National climate governance and politics

In the wake of the Paris Agreement on climate change, multilaterals and aid agencies are shifting significant attention to the national arena, where the fulfilment of climate commitments will depend upon new legal and regulatory frameworks, supporting institutions, and the political support within and outside the government. The characteristics of climate change—complexity, uncertainty, irreversibility, and […]

Piracy in the Horn of Africa, West Africa and the Strait of Malacca

What factors are discouraging or encouraging piracy in the Horn of Africa, West Africa and the Strait of Malacca? This report finds that a combination of factors in each of the regions have affected levels of piracy, at different times and depending on the type of piracy. For example, these factors may differ for subsistence pirates (largely gangs made up of part-timers who are ...» more

Humanitarian learning resource guide

This 12-page guide is designed to provide DFID staff and other interested parties with information about free online courses and materials they can use to develop or refresh their humanitarian technical competencies. It is not an exhaustive list, but provides a starting point for those working to support DFID’s humanitarian objectives. Further resources may be […]

Social movements

Social movements as contentious politics Social movements are large, often informal groupings of people who come together against power holders around a common cause, in response to situations of perceived inequality, oppression and/or unmet social, political, economic or cultural demands. At their core, social movements are not about “polite debate” or “invited spaces” of interaction between […]

Decentralisation and cash transfer programmes

In many countries, national governments have delegated the implementation of public programmes, including cash transfers (CTs), to lower levels of the political administration. This rapid literature review found very little research or empirical evidence on the relationship between federal and provincial government in regard to cash transfer programmes. Much scholarship has ...» more

Drivers of conflict in the Swat Valley, Pakistan

There is a substantial body of literature that explores drivers of conflict in the Swat Valley, but assessments of the impact of interventions are more limited. While the drivers of conflict in the Swat Valley have some unique characteristics, it is difficult to separate these from the genesis of militancy in the wider Afghanistan/Pakistan border region given their shared ...» more

International humanitarian law and peace processes

There is limited research and no empirical evidence exploring links between the degree to which IHL is respected (or ignored) and the success (or failure) of peace processes.  The literature focuses on various related issues, including negotiating with non-state armed groups, the question of why conflict groups may comply with international humanitarian norms, and the need to ...» more

Open data, transparency and accountability

Voters look for their names outside a polling station in Haiti in 2011, in the second round of the presidential elections (Kendra Helmer/USAID).

Open data involves the release of data so that anyone can access, use and share it. One of the main objectives of making data open is to promote transparency. For open data and transparency initiatives to lead to accountability, the required conditions include: getting the right data published; enabling actors to find, process and use information, and to act on any outputs; ...» more

Primary and secondary prevention of child protection violations

While the knowledge base on the prevention of child protection violations in low- or middle-income countries (LMICs) is limited, there are robust, promising findings. The majority of findings suggest that if the core elements of interventions are preserved, the translation of interventions from high-income countries (HICs) to LMICs can be effective. For instance, parenting ...» more

National climate change governance

Neil Palmer (CIAT): Farms of the Future project, Nepal

Without the rapid implementation of pro-poor, climate-informed development policies, climate change impacts could result in 100 million more people in extreme poverty by 2030. Development policies need to consider climate risk scenarios while expanding ‘no-regrets’ social protection programmes that provide benefits to vulnerable populations under different climate ...» more

Organised crime, violence and development

EU Naval Force (Op Atalanta) Somalia (Boarding teams of EU Naval Force warships conduct a routine check as part of anti-piracy operations.)

Organised crime ranges from protection economies and extortion rackets to cybercrime, oil theft, money laundering, counterfeiting, maritime piracy and the trafficking and/or smuggling of people, firearms, illicit drugs, and wildlife. It is sometimes associated with violence, but there is no strong correlation between them. Conventional law enforcement and security approaches to ...» more

Donor interventions on women’s political empowerment

The evidence base on donor interventions for women's political empowerment (WPE) in low- and middle-income countries is rigorous overall, but limited in size and scope. Feminist scholarship and practice have long emphasised that WPE is a multifaceted, complex process. However, evidence suggests that most donors have tended to build their approaches on oversimplified models of ...» more

Humanitarian contingency plans for military operations

The majority of the literature seems to focus on humanitarian contingency planning for the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and other older cases such as Kosovo. It is difficult to identify what pre-planning may or may not have been undertaken, as political sensitivities and the tendency for military secrecy around large-scale military operations means that few specific details are ...» more