GSDRC provides applied knowledge services on demand and online. Our expertise is in issues of governance, social development, humanitarian response and conflict. Our specialist research team supports a range of international development agencies, synthesising the latest evidence and expert thinking to inform policy and practice.

Professional Development Directory: short survey

Our Professional Development Directory lists online and face-to-face courses around the world for governance, conflict, social development, and humanitarian professionals. How could we make it more useful to you? Please take two minutes to let us know. Thank you! We always welcome your feedback on our services.

Dancilla Mukamana speaks at a meeting of the Ibyiza Birimbere farmers’ cooperative, Rwanda © UN Women/Ana Lukatela

New Topic Guide:
Safety, Security and Justice

Safety, security and justice are priorities for poor people and are associated with development outcomes. What do we know about what has – or hasn't – worked in safety, security and justice programming, and where? This Topic Guide for policymakers and practitioners synthesises the evidence, challenges and approaches that emerge from the literature.

Latest Document Summaries

Learning from disaster: How governments gain insight and how regional and international bodies can help

Author: Andy Featherstone (2014)
Size: 68 pages (2.3 MB)

This study explores how National Disaster Management Authorities (NDMAs) and other state actors learn and improve their humanitarian response activities. The study finds that NDMAs generate knowledge through a variety of methods including evaluations, AARs and formal and informal reflection. However, many lack the resources to consistently apply these methods. Among its recommendations is that international organisations and regional institutions should increase their collaboration with NDMAs.

World Development Report 2014: Risk and Opportunity—Managing Risk for Development

Author: World Bank (2013)
Size: 363 pages (25.7 MB)

The World Development Report (WDR) 2014 focuses on the process of risk management, addressing these questions: why is risk management important for development, how should it be conducted, what obstacles prevent people and societies from conducting it effectively, and how can these obstacles be overcome? It suggests five principles of public action for better risk management: 1) do not generate uncertainty or unnecessary risks; 2) provide incentives for people and institutions to do their own planning and preparation; 3) keep a long-term perspective for risk management by building institutional mechanisms that transcend political cycles; 4) promote flexibility within a clear and predictable institutional framework; and 5) protect the vulnerable, while encouraging self-reliance and preserving fiscal sustainability.