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.

Image: A community meeting © BBC World Service

New Topic Guide:
Sequencing Reforms in Fragile States

How can governments in fragile and conflict affected states (FCAS) plan and manage reforms when everything is urgent and important, and when capacity and resources are low? How can external actors strategically support the fulfilment of essential and expected state functions? This Topic Guide provides an overview of the evidence that examines the sequencing of statebuilding and peacebuilding reforms in FCAS.

Latest Document Summaries

Voice and Agency: Empowering women and girls for shared prosperity

Author: World Bank Group (2014)
Size: 226 pages (19.5 MB)

This report presents evidence collected from a variety of sources to shine a spotlight on the pervasive deprivations and constraints that face women and girls worldwide. Most women (4 in 5) lack control over household resources, believe gender-based violence is justified under certain circumstances, or were married before they turned 18. Just as striking, almost half of all women report being deprived in more than one of these areas, and almost 1 in 8 experiences all three. The report notes that social protection programmes that include elements to tackle regressive gender norms have had promising results.

Social protection for older persons: Key policy trends and statistics

Author: International Labour Organization (2014)
Size: 150 pages (4 MB)

This paper: (i) provides a global overview of the organisation of pension systems, their coverage and benefits, as well as public expenditures on social security, in 178 countries; (ii) analyses trends and recent policies, e.g. extension of coverage in a large number of low- and middle-income countries; (iii) presents the negative impacts of fiscal consolidation and adjustment measures in a number of higher-income economies; and (iv) calls for the expansion of social protection in pursuit of crisis recovery, inclusive development and social justice. Nearly half (48%) of all people over pensionable age do not receive a pension. and for those who do, pension levels are not adequate. Guaranteeing adequate income replacement is just as important as expanding pension coverage.