Research Helpdesk

Helpdesk report cover

The research helpdesk provides rapid desk-based research on questions related to governance, social development, conflict and humanitarian topics. We provide a report that synthesises the key issues and literature and includes expert comments from academics and practitioners.

Search or browse more than 500 Helpdesk Reports in the GSDRC Publications section. They are available to download without charge, along with more extensive literature reviews, conflict analyses, topic guides and professional development reading packs.

Submit a Research Query

The helpdesk service is charged at fixed daily rates to organisations other than DFID, the Australian Government and the European Commission’s Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace. Please email for details of costs.

How the Helpdesk service operates

Use this service to support project or programme planning, produce briefings or policy papers, prepare for missions or meetings or get quickly up to speed with the latest debates on any issue. For questions that require more in-depth investigation, we can also undertake extended assignments according to your specification.

  1. Email us via the ‘Submit a research query’ link above or telephone +44 (0) 121 414 5037 to outline your question.
  2. A researcher will contact you to confirm your query and ensure that we fully understand your needs.
  3. The researcher will send you a report on the findings by the agreed deadline.

The Helpdesk is staffed by a team of researchers located at the University of Birmingham, the Institute of Development Studies and the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute. Researchers can call on the GSDRC’s established networks of expert academics and practitioners both within our consortium and in the wider development community.

An important part of ensuring the quality of Helpdesk responses is discussing and clarifying your query before research begins. This helps us to understand your exact needs and tailor our response to match the purpose of your query.

Other Helpdesk services

Questions from DFID staff about the following subjects should be directed to other Helpdesk services core-funded by DFID: