UK Department for International Development (DFID)

The GSDRC has provided research services to DFID since 2001, initially serving governance advisers, and gradually expanding to also cover social development, conflict, and humanitarian issues. The following GSDRC publications were commissioned by DFID.

CSOs supporting accountability in cash transfer programmes

Cash transfer programmes, like most social protection programmes, are vulnerable to fraud, errors, corruption and misuse of funds, which undermine their achievements.  Civil society organisations (CSOs) have supported, or provided, accountability mechanisms in countries around the world: working to improve transparency to help citizens hold authorities accountable; checking ...» more

Dominant party systems and development programming

There is a lack of applied thinking or rigorous empirical investigation into how donors and the international community can work with dominant party systems to promote more responsive state-society relations, or other forms of development progress. Frequently cited examples of existing research are not based on recent, systematic comparative research and focus mainly on ...» more

Sustainable livelihoods in Ugandan refugee settings

Uganda has hosted refugees from neighbouring conflict-affect countries for several decades. Some research suggests that self-employed refugees are somewhat more successful than employed refugees, but there is little concrete evidence from Uganda that current refugee livelihood strategies are successfully fostering self-reliance and sustainable solutions. Most of the available ...» more

Effects of respect for international humanitarian law on displacement

Much of the literature agrees that violence against civilians is the primary driver of displacement. However, while a few causalities can be considered established, authors frequently note that findings are either correlations (rather than causalities), or that the causalities need clarification. High-quality literature on population movements has long demonstrated that, even ...» more

Decentralisation and cash transfer programmes

In many countries, national governments have delegated the implementation of public programmes, including cash transfers (CTs), to lower levels of the political administration. This rapid literature review found very little research or empirical evidence on the relationship between federal and provincial government in regard to cash transfer programmes. Much scholarship has ...» more

Drivers of conflict in the Swat Valley, Pakistan

There is a substantial body of literature that explores drivers of conflict in the Swat Valley, but assessments of the impact of interventions are more limited. While the drivers of conflict in the Swat Valley have some unique characteristics, it is difficult to separate these from the genesis of militancy in the wider Afghanistan/Pakistan border region given their shared ...» more

International humanitarian law and peace processes

There is limited research and no empirical evidence exploring links between the degree to which IHL is respected (or ignored) and the success (or failure) of peace processes.  The literature focuses on various related issues, including negotiating with non-state armed groups, the question of why conflict groups may comply with international humanitarian norms, and the need to ...» more

Primary and secondary prevention of child protection violations

While the knowledge base on the prevention of child protection violations in low- or middle-income countries (LMICs) is limited, there are robust, promising findings. The majority of findings suggest that if the core elements of interventions are preserved, the translation of interventions from high-income countries (HICs) to LMICs can be effective. For instance, parenting ...» 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

Humanitarian contingency plans for military operations

The majority of the literature seems to focus on humanitarian contingency planning for the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and other older cases such as Kosovo. It is difficult to identify what pre-planning may or may not have been undertaken, as political sensitivities and the tendency for military secrecy around large-scale military operations means that few specific details are ...» more

Social assistance and idiosyncratic shocks

While there is a growing literature documenting and analysing how social assistance programmes can help in reducing income poverty and food insecurity, very little systematic empirical research has been done concerning their effectiveness in reducing individual and household vulnerability to idiosyncratic shocks. This rapid review focuses on cash transfers and public works ...» more

Communicating peace agreements

There is limited research on the process of conducting such referendums and how to communicate the contents of peace agreements and constitutions to the electorate. The 1998 referendum in Northern Ireland has received the greatest attention in the literature. Available research focuses on factors that can influence whether a referendum is likely to be won, including discussion ...» more

Libyan political economy

Much has changed in Libya since April 2014. However, Libya remains highly unstable and divided along multiple fracture lines, with a multitude of armed and non-armed groups. Given the fluidity of relations between these groups, literature on the country situation becomes quickly outdated. Libya has three rival claimants to power: a reconvened General National Congress (GNC) ...» more

Priority gender issues in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Moldova, Serbia and Ukraine

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) Despite some progress being made towards achieving gender equality in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), gender stereotyping and discrimination against women remain widespread. Key findings include: Awareness and implementation of the Law on Gender Equality (LGE) is weak. Gender stereotypes are prevalent in the media. Few women serve as ...» more

Lessons from DDR programmes

While the literature on DDR programmes, their evolution and DDR experiences in individual countries (notably in Africa), is considerable and broadly consistent, there is little on the long-term effectiveness of DDR interventions. DDR programming has evolved significantly over the past few decades in response to changing situations and emerging challenges; from traditional ...» more

Religious leaders and the prevention of electoral violence

There is limited literature specifically on the role of religious leaders in countering electoral and political violence, even less on ways in which to engage leaders in taking on such a role. While highlighting particular initiatives involving religious leaders during electoral cycles, this report also draws on literature that discusses the engagement of religious actors more ...» more

Humanitarian response in middle-income countries

The literature uncovered by this rapid review indicates that there is very little evidence available about the way in which humanitarian response is carried out in middle income countries in comparison to low income contexts (or an amalgamation of the two). Where there have been evaluations of humanitarian response in middle income countries, they have not really focused on ...» more

Women and girls in forced and protracted displacement

There is general consensus in this grey and academic literature on the vulnerabilities faced by women and girls in forced and protracted displacement, although less is known about the opportunities they may have and the long-term impacts. Much of the recent evidence available focuses on displaced populations in Europe and countries neighbouring Syria. There is more of a focus ...» more

Seasonal vulnerability and risk calendar in Nepal

Nepal faces many seasonal disasters, including floods, landslides, fires, droughts and diseases. Findings of this rapid review indicates that: Most people are killed and injured during July–September which is in the monsoon period. Preparedness activities could take place in anticipation of seasonal disasters. The Tarai is vulnerable to floods, lightening, epidemics and ...» more

National Disaster Management Authorities

This review has found, as did a Brookings literature review by Ferris (2014: 6), that there are few published comparative analyses of NDMAs, either on South Asia or worldwide. This review focuses on three cases from South Asia: Bangladesh, Pakistan and India, while it also includes brief information on Afghanistan and Sri Lanka. The key findings on the DRM institutional ...» more