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.

Violent extremism and terrorism in Yemen

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) first gained control of territory in 2011 when it took advantage of political chaos; it once again managed to take control of territory following the current civil war, which began in early 2015. AQAP’s aim is to create a number of smaller emirates, which will eventually link to form a caliphate when they deem the time is right. AQAP ...» more

Flexibility in funding mechanisms to respond to shocks

In order to better and more rapidly respond to shocks such as sudden onset disasters, there have been increasing efforts to build flexibility into humanitarian or development funding arrangements, as current emergency responses are often slow to arrive and/or unresponsive to forecasts of disasters (Start Network, 2017; Rüth et al, 2017, p. 2). This rapid reviews looks at ...» more

Improving gender outcomes for regional trade programmes

Global trade and regional integration have gender-specific outcomes: in developing countries and specifically in South Asia, women do not have the same access as men to benefits of trade. This report reviews the gender outcomes of trade and describes policies and initiatives tackling the three main gender-based barriers to benefiting from trade: (i) sociocultural norms, (ii) ...» more

Resources on governance and inclusion

Inclusion is a prominent concept – some say “buzzword” – in current international development thinking and debates. The recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) promote inclusion – to “leave no one behind” – and place governance at the heart of achieving this. For example, SDG 16 aims to “Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide ...» more

Criminal networks and the illicit wildlife trade

This five day help desk review provides an overview of academic, policy and practitioner literature that examines the illicit wildlife trade and criminal networks. Whilst there is a broad consensus that the illegal wildlife trade is a pressing and growing concern, there is much debate as to what this trade entails and who the key actors are. It is important to highlight that ...» more

Enforcement and regulation of the illegal wildlife trade in Sub Saharan Africa

Although Sub Saharan countries may have signed up to Multilateral Environment Agreements and regional frameworks and these are theoretically part of the country’s law, their importance is rarely considered at the national level. Therefore, there is a large disconnect between international, regional and local legal regimes. A consistent theme in the reviews is that significant ...» more

Examples and lessons from three-tier federalism

This rapid review synthesises findings from academic, practitioner, and policy literature. Whilst there is a large body of literature that analyses various aspects of federalism, authors seldom focus on the experience of countries which have implemented this particular three-tier structure. Those studies that do address this area tend to be found either in peer-reviewed ...» more

Social capital in Yemen

Social capital in Yemen is informed primarily by tribal affiliation, particularly in rural areas and in the north. Other important sources including faith based institutions, local community solidarity initiatives, civil society organisations and support from the diaspora. While social capital has been eroded due to political, social and economic changes in recent years, the ...» more

Effectiveness of programmes supporting migrants in Africa

Despite a growing body of research on migration and development, the literature highlights the limited empirical evidence available on the effectiveness of migration programmes. The aid-spending departments of the UK government are in the process of identifying how UK aid contributes to tackling the “root causes of mass migration” and developing new, targeted programmes. A ...» more

Stabilisation in Syria

The Syrian conflict is now in its seventh year and involves a wide range of both national and international parties. Crucially, no party is in a position to establish control over the entire country. This has implications for efforts at stabilisation. There is increasing recognition that the Assad regime cannot be displaced and hence efforts to find a political solution are ...» more

Economic drivers and effects of the illegal wildlife trade in Sub Saharan Africa

The drivers behind the illegal wildlife trade (IWT) in Sub Saharan Africa are varied and complex; varying over time and from one location or sector to another, and depending on the type of commodities and crime involved. Therefore caution should be taken when discussing these drivers. Broadly, the main economic drivers behind the IWT in Sub Saharan Africa include: increasing ...» more

Impact of economic sanctions on poverty and economic growth

Key findings are as follows: Economic sanctions lead to an increase in the poverty gap and deprived sections of the population feel the most impact. For the most part sanctions fail to achieve their aims and elites manage to negotiate the adverse effects to a far greater level than poorer citizens. Sanctions have a damaging effect on income inequality and impact ...» more

Emergency humanitarian response to longer-term development in refugee crises

This report provides a rapid literature review of the evidence on emergency humanitarian response to longer-term development in refugee crises. While the scope of the report did not allow for complex judgements to be made about the quality of the body of evidence, or of the strength of individual pieces of evidence, an evidence table is provided in Annex A to enable the reader ...» more

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

Psycho-social support for children and school staff in protracted conflict situations

Whilst the provision of psychosocial activities is regularly mentioned in documents referring to the humanitarian response to education, there is a dearth of literature that refers to exactly what these programmes consist of, and how effective they are. There is, however, widespread recognition of the importance of providing psycho-social interventions to counter the impact of ...» more