Citizen voice and action

No democratic government can afford not to listen to the voices of its citizens. Why? It is a matter of common sense; involving people in discussions about how to tackle a problem that affects their lives is much more likely to generate successful ways to address the issue. Further, if opportunities are made to formulate…» more

Religion and development

Why would you want to mix religion with development? They appear to be completely different things – at best incompatible; at worst highly combustible. After all some strands of religion have an overtly political agenda, while other strands promote or condone violence, including terrorism. In some instances religions promote discrimination against women, children and other…» more

Webinar video: Wellbeing and extreme and persistent poverty

Prof Sarah White (University of Bath) and Andrew Shepherd (Chronic Poverty Advisory Network) gave presentations on  extreme and persistent poverty and wellbeing.  They drew on their experience research to reflect on comments and questions raised by participating development practitioners. The webinar was held on 3 March 2016. An audio-only version of the webinar is available

Violent extremism

‘Violent extremism’ is rarely defined: neither the United Nations nor the European Union has an official definition. USAID defines it as “advocating, engaging in, preparing, or otherwise supporting ideologically motivated or justified violence to further social, economic or political objectives”. However, this apparently simple and obvious statement conceals a great deal of controversy and uncertainty….» more

Human rights

Human rights emerged as a new field in international development in the 1990s. By 1997, the UN Secretary-General had called on all UN development agencies to mainstream human rights (1997), while development donors and NGOs increasingly committed themselves to a human rights approach. Diverse factors explain this seeming breakthrough of human rights. First, a growing…» more

Webinar video: Social norms and violence against women and girls

  Dr Lori Heise (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) and Emma Fulu (the Equality Institute) gave short presentations on social norms and violence against women and girls. They drew on their experience and research to reflect on comments and questions raised by participating development practitioners. Download the presentations here and here. The webinar was held on…» more

Violence against women and girls

Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is considered one of the most pervasive human rights abuses of our times, affecting more than one in three women globally. VAWG is most likely to be perpetrated by someone known to the victim, such as a family member or intimate partner, and takes many different forms. This includes,…» more

Social norms

In recent years the development community has witnessed an upsurge of interest in the role that social norms may play in perpetuating a host of harmful practices, especially practices affecting women and girls.  There has long been interest in how deeply held beliefs, attitudes, and norms can justify male dominance and reinforce behaviour and institutions that…» more

Religion and conflict

The role of religion in international relations and its relationship with conflict and with peacebuilding is increasingly acknowledged but remains disputed. Secular resistance to incorporating religion in public affairs has given way to numerous academic publications, discussion forums and public initiatives. Governments and international organisations are increasingly willing to examine religion and incorporate it, to…» more

Inclusive institutions

The term ‘inclusive institutions’ does not refer to a clearly defined field of theory or policy within international development, but to a normative sensibility that stands in favour of inclusion as the benchmark against which institutions can be judged and also promoted. Inclusive institutions are usually portrayed as both a means through which inclusive development…» more

Measuring the performance of PFM systems

Government budgets and their supporting systems – often referred to as Public Financial Management (PFM) systems – are one of the key tools that governments use to turn policy statements and intentions into the delivery of goods and services. In fact, much of what governments do depends on raising, borrowing and spending public resources. Interest…» more

Webinar video: Public Financial Management

Dr Paolo de Renzio (International Budget Partnership) and Prof Dominik Zaum (University of Reading)  gave short presentations on transparency, participation and corruption in Public Financial Management. Discussant Dr Simon De Lay (University of Birmingham) drew on his experience and recent research to reflect on issues raised, and participating development practitioners from around the world contributed questions and comments. The webinar was held on 24…» more

Children and young people

Why do children and young people matter in development? Firstly, there are a lot of them – in Sub-Saharan Africa under-15s represent 43% of the population (Population Reference Bureau, 2015). Secondly, they are often disproportionately affected by poverty – in the UK 28% of children live in households below the poverty line (Department of Work…» more

Responding to mass atrocities and human rights abuses

Mass atrocities are generally understood as genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, but many other human rights abuses are committed in conflict-affected contexts. There are a range of responses to these abuses, particularly by national and international actors, constituting international criminal justice and transitional justice. Development actors are increasingly directly involved in managing conflict or…» more

Ageing and development

The world’s population is ageing across all regions of the world. Extraordinary developments in technology, medicine and public hygiene over the last 100 years have resulted in increasing numbers of people living longer than ever before, with better health and the prospect of a more active life long into old age. This trend coupled with…» more

Peacekeeping

The aim of peacekeeping is to preserve peace, normally after a peace agreement has been achieved. It has evolved from a primarily military activity, observing cease-fires and separation of forces after inter-state conflict, to multidimensional missions taking on a range of civilian tasks. Peacekeeping is conducted by both the United Nations and by regional organisations,…» more

Video of seminar on Politically smart development

A video of David Booth‘s GSDRC seminar is now available below. Dr Booth discussed Politically smart development assistance: can it be done? Speaking at the University of Birmingham on 15 October, he drew on his experience and research in the Philippines to explore issues and debates introduced in his Professional Development Reading Pack on ‘Thinking and Working Politically’. David Booth is a Senior Research…» more

Video of seminar on Mass atrocities

A video of Chandra Sriram‘s  GSDRC seminar is now available below. Professor Sriram explored three critical issues in developing responses to mass atrocities introduced in her Professional Development Reading Pack on the same subject. Chandra Sriram is Professor of International Law and International Relations at the University of East London. This seminar was held on 8…» more

Disability and development

More than one billion people (around 15% of the world’s population) are disabled, with 80% of them living in the global South, estimates the first ever World Report on Disability jointly published by the WHO and World Bank in 2011. Furthermore, disabled people are disproportionately represented among the poor, have higher levels of unmet health…» more

Multidimensional poverty

While people generally recognise poverty instantly when they encounter it, they often find difficulty in saying precisely what it is.  Experts share the same difficulty and hence definitions frequently reflect what can most readily be measured. Poverty is commonly taken to be low income and, in global debates, is often indexed by income of $1.25…» more