GSDRC provides applied knowledge services on demand and online. Our expertise is in issues of governance, social development, humanitarian response and conflict. Our specialist research team supports a range of international development agencies, synthesising the latest evidence and expert thinking to inform policy and practice.

Join our team: Research and Communications Support Officer

We are looking for a well-organised person with an excellent eye for detail and a talent for clear, concise writing to join our team to support our research communication and professional development work. For more information, please see the University of Birmingham recruitment website. Apply by 27 April 2015.

Image: Addressing the basic needs displaced people in Mali © EC / ECHO / Anouk Delafortrie

Updated Topic Guide:
Human Rights

This newly revised topic guide introduces the international human rights framework, 'rights-based approaches to development', and the policies of various donors and NGOs. It explores how human rights can enhance policy and practice in various development sectors, and examines the relationship between rights, social exclusion and discrimination.

Latest Document Summaries

Income inequality in Latin America: Recent decline and prospects for its further reduction

Author: Giovanni Cornia (2015)
Size: 30 pages (776KB)

The paper reviews the extent of the income inequality decline that took place in Latin America in 2002-10 and then focuses on the factors that may explain such decline. These include a lowered skill premium following an expansion of secondary education among the poor, and the adoption of more equalising tax, labour market subsidies and macro policies by a growing number of progressive governments. The hypotheses discussed were tested on the basis of the Income Distribution in Latin America (IDLA) dataset that includes data for 18 countries for the years 1990-2009.

Service characteristics and engagement with citizens

Author: Richard Batley and Joseph Wales (2015)
Size: 16 pages (684KB)

This briefing note provides guidance on how different services can offer differing opportunities and challenges for improving service performance through increased accountability and citizen engagement. It illustrates an approach to identifying these opportunities, using examples from two services: curative health care and urban networked water supply. This approach can be used to map where, when and how social accountability mechanisms may be effective in improving service performance.