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:
Conflict Sensitivity

Conflict sensitivity helps aid actors understand the unintended consequences of aid, minimise harm and achieve positive outcomes. This Topic Guide outlines the three principal approaches to conflict sensitivity – Do No Harm, Peace and Conflict Impact Assessment, and Aid for Peace – their advantages and disadvantages. It also discusses how conflict sensitivity can be applied within various sectors, and how to address challenges that arise.

Latest Document Summaries

What do women want? Gender, perceptions data and development priorities

Author: Tanvi Bhatkal (2014)
Size: 15 pages (339 KB)

This report looks at the people’s development priorities from a gendered perspective using the UN’s MY World survey and examines what it is that women prioritise in development. It finds that although there is considerable variation across countries, there are few gender-based differences in the most important development priorities, particularly in poorer countries. However, the report recognises that perception data – though important – must be treated with caution as it can conceal different underlying motivations where gendered barriers prevent equal access to opportunities.

Politically Smart, Locally Led Development

Author: David Booth and Sue Unsworth (2014)
Size: 29 pages (1.65 MB)

This report highlights evidence that donors can work politically, and that this improves outcomes. It examines seven cases, and finds that keys to success included iterative problem-solving and brokering relationships to discover common interests. The paper argues that donors need to be politically informed and astute to assess the scope for change, and to make good choices regarding issues to work on and partners to work with; and they need to allow local actors to take the lead in finding solutions to problems that matter to them.