Literature Reviews

These rapid literature reviews aim to orient policymakers to key debates, evidence and emerging issues. They provide more in-depth analysis than Helpdesk Reports, and usually draw on between 15-25 days of desk-based research. They are peer reviewed by external experts.

Decentralisation of budgeting process

This literature review examines evidence about the impact of public financial management (PFM) interventions in the field of decentralisation of budgeting. It asks: What is the effectiveness of devolved budgeting models in relation to the efficiency of PFM systems, service delivery, budget allocation, citizen involvement, accountability and anti-corruption?  What factors ...» more

Youth unemployment and violence

This literature review looks at whether there is evidence of a causal link between youth unemployment and violence in developing countries, focusing on crime, gang violence and domestic violence. It also looks at female youth unemployment, donor programming, and areas where more research is needed. A causal link between youth unemployment and violence is widely assumed, but ...» more

Public procurement reform: assessing interventions aimed at improving transparency

This Rapid Evidence Assessment (REA) asks: what is the effectiveness of different interventions that aim to improve the transparency of public procurement? It also asks: What is the impact of improved procurement on accountability, anti-corruption and service delivery? Is it possible to produce key success criteria? An evidence base consisting of 48 studies, of high ...» more

Piracy in the Horn of Africa, West Africa and the Strait of Malacca

What factors are discouraging or encouraging piracy in the Horn of Africa, West Africa and the Strait of Malacca? This report finds that a combination of factors in each of the regions have affected levels of piracy, at different times and depending on the type of piracy. For example, these factors may differ for subsistence pirates (largely gangs made up of part-timers who are ...» more

Donor interventions on women’s political empowerment

The evidence base on donor interventions for women's political empowerment (WPE) in low- and middle-income countries is rigorous overall, but limited in size and scope. Feminist scholarship and practice have long emphasised that WPE is a multifaceted, complex process. However, evidence suggests that most donors have tended to build their approaches on oversimplified models of ...» more

Rapid fragility and migration assessment for Eritrea

February 2016

Eritreans have fled the country in large numbers since the 1960s as a result of war, poverty and a lack of freedom. The 30-year long Independence war produced a diaspora of over a million people, mostly based in Sudan, the Middle East, Europe and the US. Significant numbers displaced during this war returned after Independence in 1993 and throughout the remainder of the ...» more

Rapid fragility and migration assessment for Sudan

Sudan is a source, transit, and destination country for migrants. Sudanese migrants are a mixed group of refugees and asylum seekers, economic migrants and, to a lesser extent, foreign students. The majority are men aged 25–40, and they come from a wide range of socioeconomic and educational backgrounds. The majority of refugees and asylum seekers are in neighbouring ...» more

Factors important to the establishment, renewal or rehabilitation of the civil service

This literature review seeks to place the emergence of the civil service within its historical context, and highlight the role it has played in state-building. The civil service has helped the state to penetrate peripheral territories, standardise physical and psychological space, and accommodate competing sources of power. The review notes the expansion of the ...» more

Public financial management evidence mapping

This paper reviews the extent of evidence for the effect of Public Financial Management (PFM) interventions on outcomes in low and middle income countries. It is based on a database of 197 studies compiled after a rigorous search process. The number of studies in the field was surprisingly low, reflecting a series of challenges in acquiring robust evidence. Studies tended to ...» more

Security and justice evidence mapping

This report identifies empirical evidence on the outcomes of security and justice (S&J) interventions, and provides a visual overview of its findings in an evidence gap map. The evidence gaps appear where outputs and outcomes are less tangible and more difficult to operationalise and measure. The evidence is scarce for a number of justice-specific output and outcome ...» more

Gender in fragile and conflict-affected situations

This rapid literature review, in annotated bibliography format, collates a large amount of literature published in 2013 and 2014 (up to April 2014) on the topic of gender in fragile and conflict-affected situations. It is not a systematic or exhaustive review, but does provide a comprehensive overview of the literature available. It includes all types of available written ...» more

Libya: border security and regional cooperation

This rapid literature review examines security-related developments that determine Libya’s relationships with its neighbours – Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Niger, Sudan and Tunisia. The report also looks at the incentives for neighbouring countries to maintain or develop regional relationships or cross-border mechanisms with Libya and the main challenges in implementing them. It also ...» more

Lessons from implementing peace agreements: what next for Colombia?

Conflict in Colombia has deep roots, with over 50 years of armed conflict between state and non-state armed forces, more than 220,000 people estimated dead, and five million internally displaced people (ICG, 2013). Since the 1980s, there have been many formal and informal peace negotiations between the state and the different non-state armed groups. But no agreement to date has ...» more

Key actors mapping: Somalia

This report provides an overview of power-holders in Somalia. It finds that power is heavily concentrated in individuals rather than formal institutions. Though Somalia now features a nascent central government as well as regional polities and one secessionist government, government institutions are not the sole or even primary locus of power. Most power continues to reside in ...» more

Islamic radicalisation in North and West Africa: drivers and approaches to tackle radicalisation

This paper synthesises literature on Islamic radicalisation in North and West Africa, with a particular focus on the drivers of radicalisation and evidence on approaches that have attempted to tackle radicalisation. There is significant debate in the academic literature concerning the definition of ‘radicalisation’. For the purposes of this report, the definition of Islamic ...» more