Sustainable livelihoods for refugees in protracted crises

Much of the literature in this area acknowledges the widespread constraints to livelihoods development in refugee settings. These include a disabling policy environment, low levels of social capital, poverty, and weak baseline levels of training and skills. Measures to support self-sufficiency are often severely hampered by restricted freedom of movement, weak tailoring of ...» more

CSOs holding governments to account

This report summarises interventions by more than 30 civil society organisations (CSOs) to increase government accountability in varied sectors and contexts. CSOs use a wide variety of different media to gather information from citizens, which they then use to press for accountability. Their strategies and tactics for engaging with local and national government ...» more

Regional progress of the world’s girls and women

What regions have made the most progress in achieving gender equality, and where has progress being slow? Key findings include the following: As the world’s poorest region, Sub-Saharan Africa is performing poorly on many gender equality indicators. For example, it has the highest rates of maternal and newborn mortality, and also the lowest proportion of deliveries attended ...» more

Global progress of the world’s girls and women

Globally, remarkable progress has been made in achieving gender equality in some areas, while progress has been slow and stagnant in other areas. Findings include the following: Substantial progress has been made in closing the gender gap in primary enrolment, with two thirds of all countries in the developing world achieving gender parity in this area. Considerable ...» more

Political economy analysis

Dhaka steamers (Bangladesh)

Political economy analysis (PEA) aims to situate development interventions within an understanding of the prevailing political and economic processes in society – specifically, the incentives, relationships, and distribution and contestation of power between different groups and individuals. Such an analysis can support more politically feasible and therefore more effective ...» more

Service delivery

UNAMID Delivers Water to Darfur Students during Exam Period

Equitable access to essential public services is vital for human development, inclusive growth, and tackling persistent inequality. This topic guide provides an overview of the best available evidence on inclusive service delivery. It includes lessons from cases where aid has been effective at addressing weak front-line incentives, where services have been delivered in very ...» more

PEA in the mining/extractives sector

Political economy analysis (PEA) is a form of analysis concerned with understanding the prevailing political and economic processes governing behavior in society – specifically, how these processes affect the incentives of different actors, and the distribution and contestation of power between them. It is intended to support more effective and politically feasible development ...» more

Violence against women and girls in Haiti

No official government statistics are available on the prevalence of violence against women and girls in Haiti. Experts acknowledge that reports by non-governmental organisations and small-scale, isolated surveys reveal only a partial picture. Moreover, much of the available analysis is focused on urban areas, and in particular Port-au-Prince; fewer studies document the ...» more

Women’s economic role in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

Key finding: Recent data illustrates that the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region continues to rank lowest overall in the world on measures of women’s economic participation and opportunity (Global Gender Gap Index, 2012). However, MENA economies are not homogenous and variation does exist among countries, with fragile and conflict-affected states recording lower rates ...» more

Impact of microcredit interest rates on the poor

Key finding: Policymakers have been concerned about the effects of the seemingly high interest rates typically charged by microfinance institutions (MFI) lending money to poor people. Available data indicates that microfinance interest rates typically fall between 20 and 50 per cent per year (in places where inflation runs no higher than 10 per cent per year). It has been ...» more

Successful Gender Ministries

Gender ministries can simultaneously perform a variety of different roles and functions in pursuit of gender equality and empowerment goals. However, the literature does not characterise particular ministries as being generally ‘successful’, though there are cases where gender ministries have helped push through significant advances in specific areas of gender policy and have ...» more

Impact of telecommunications reform on service delivery

Telecommunications have been shown to have a range of direct, indirect and intangible benefits on development and poverty reduction goals (Bhavnani et al, 2008). Where the literature allows, the report includes examples of how telecommunications reform has enabled better service outcomes in fragile and conflict-affected states, and some of the challenges of implementation in ...» more

Natural resource exploitation and peacebuilding

Natural resource exploitation has been extensively analysed as a potential source of conflict and a constraint on peace and stability. Studies have continued to demonstrate how ineffective or inequitable arrangements for resource extraction can reignite or exacerbate conflict, perpetuating social and economic grievances and horizontal inequalities. There appears to be ...» more

Measuring results


How can the impact of governance and social development programmes be assessed with a view to improving their efficiency and effectiveness? What particular challenges are involved in monitoring and evaluating development interventions, and how can these be addressed? How can the ‘value for money’ of a particular intervention be determined? Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) ...» more

Research Capacity Strengthening

Lack of an enabling legal framework, poor quality of secondary-school education, an absence of research leaders and role models, and the relatively low priority attached to research are all frequently cited as barriers to research capacity development in developing countries as a whole, and Africa in particular (Whitworth et al 2008). Studies have noted that previous research ...» more

Time use studies and women’s empowerment

Time use studies aim to provide information on the work performed by women and highlight the time they spend on unpaid activities including domestic chores, the care of children, the elderly and the sick, water and fuel collection, and voluntary community-oriented work. In so doing, they seek to address the problem of the ‘invisibility’ of women’s unpaid work, and draw ...» more

Impact evaluations of programmes to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls

In spite of the growing body of literature documenting the prevalence of violence against women and girls, there remains a paucity of evaluations of the impact of interventions in this area. The majority of evaluations of programmes to prevent and respond to such violence take the form of qualitative, input or process-level assessments, as opposed to approaches that measure the ...» more

Cash payments in DDR programmes

Cash payments to ex-combatants are a common feature of Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) programmes, yet there is considerable debate in academic and donor circles about the benefits and risks of using them. Evidence on the impact of cash payments in DDR programmes is mixed, and experience has not been universally positive. Cash payments may take various ...» more

Cooperatives and Development

A cooperative is an autonomous association of people united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise. Cooperatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. Although the reliability of figures is poor, ...» more

Impact of Communication for Development (C4D)

Development agencies are increasingly recognising the potential of communication for development (C4D) to improve development outcomes and to enhance the overall effectiveness of aid programmes. This coincides with growing evidence of the impact of C4D on the MDGs. This report provides some practical, tangible examples of where C4D activities have improved development outcomes ...» more