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.

DFID Entry Scheme for Advisers now open

This scheme is now open until 1 Sept 2015, and will recruit for three-year programmes in the following professional groups: Evaluation, Governance, Humanitarian, Infrastructure, Livelihoods, Private Sector Development and Social Development. Find out more

Image: Families in Tong Ping displaced persons settlement, South Sudan, January 2014 (Photo: Anita Kattakhuzy / Oxfam).

New Topic Guide:
Public Sector Institutional Reform

The public sector is the single most important investment instrument for the state, and improving the way it is managed is critical for development outcomes including service delivery, social protection and private sector regulation. Public sector governance reform involves institutional reform – changing the rules and norms that govern public sector activity. How can policymakers and practitioners support institutional reform to improve the performance of the state? This Topic Guide synthesises the evidence, debates and lessons that emerge from the literature.

Latest Document Summaries

States of Fragility 2015: Meeting Post-2015 Ambitions

Author: OECD (2015)
Size: 124 pages (1.99MB)

This report proposes a new model for analysing all countries’ risks across five clusters of fragility indicators: 1) violence; 2) access to justice for all; 3) effective, accountable and inclusive institutions; 4) economic inclusion and stability; 5) capacities to prevent and adapt to social, economic and environmental shocks and disasters. It calls for smarter demand-driven aid modalities and instruments.

Developmental regimes in Africa: Initiating and sustaining developmental regimes in Africa

Author: David Booth (Ed.) (2015)
Size: 52 pages (3.69 MB)

This report synthesises findings from the Developmental Regimes in Africa project. Among the findings is that leadership transitions that maintain economic growth seem to require the presence of either a governing party with a tradition of consensual decision-making, or a state bureaucracy that can insulate policy from political leadership changes. Analysis suggests that developmental regimes are defined by: policy content, especially regarding agriculture; policy process, especially iterative and adaptive problem-solving; and a type of political settlement that frees policy-making from the usual constraints.