IDD Research

IDD conducts groundbreaking work that shapes contemporary debate in development studies. For over 50 years, we have been committed to conducting research that is innovative, interdisciplinary and policy-relevant. We have strong networks of researchers around the world, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, South and South-East Asia and Latin America, and our analysis is based on a rich combination of methodologies. The policy significance of our work means that it is supported by a range of funders, including the ESRC, British Academy, NERC, the European Union, the Department for International Development (DFID) of the UK government and other multilateral and bilateral aid agencies. We communicate our findings to multiple audiences all over the world through our world leading publications, blog, media engagement, and external and internal seminars and lectures. Our research also contributes to and informs the education and training we offer, so that students are consistently exposed to cutting-edge ideas and debates.

Our research strengths are located within six research themes, as shown below. Within each theme, you can find information about our projects, people and publications. IDD is also pleased to host the Australian government-funded Developmental Leadership Program and the knowledge management centre GSDRC.

Research culture

IDD has an active research culture that has provided the bedrock on which we have established an international reputation as one of the UK's leading academic institutions in the field of development studies. Our students join an active research community, including both members of staff and other research students. We host a wide range of seminars and have established a new Visiting Fellows programme to bring internationally renowned scholars and policy-makers to IDD.

More research projects throughout the department

Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) latest research

The Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) aims to promote interdisciplinary research by combining expertise from across the breadth of the University to address major cross-cutting themes that are important, relevant and timely.

Saving Humans: Risk, Intervention, Survival
'Saving Humans' is an innovative and timely theme which consolidates existing University research agendas, provides opportunities for creating novel and exciting partnerships, transcends divides between arts, social sciences and natural sciences and, most importantly, addresses broader issues of social, political and moral concern for humanity’s future.
Theme Leaders: Professor David Hudson  Professor Paul Jackson and Professor Nick Wheeler 

Policy Briefs

IDD publishes a series of Policy Briefs to support evidence-informed decision-making in international development. These present the policy implications of IDD research in a concise and accessible format. Topics covered so far include statebuilding, peacebuilding, anti-corruption, transitional justice and environmental mainstreaming.

See Policy Briefs at IDD.


IDD is proud to host GSDRC, which provides applied knowledge services on demand and online. GSDRC's specialist researchers synthesise the latest evidence and expert thinking on governance, social development, humanitarian and conflict issues to inform policy and practice. Read more - GSDRC: policy-oriented research.

Developmental Leadership Program

IDD is also home to the highly-regarded Developmental Leadership Program (DLP), an international research initiative that aims to increase understanding of the political processes that drive or constrain development. DLP’s work focuses on the crucial role of home-grown leaderships and coalitions in forging legitimate institutions that promote developmental outcomes.  Read more – DLP: research on leadership and the politics of development.