Aid Policy and Public Attitudes

UN helicopter responding to a natural disaster.IDD is a leading centre for the study of international aid policy and public attitudes to aid and development. 

Our staff and research students focus on a range of key questions in this regard, including the domestic and international influences on aid policy, the changing character of the aid landscape and the determinants of public support for, or opposition to, aid and international development.

We are instrumental in shaping scholarly and policy debates on these themes and work closely with policy-makers across the North and South as ‘critical friends’ to ensure that our work both speaks to emerging trends, and helps to challenge and impact upon the state of the art in a rapidly evolving field. We are home to two leading research centres on aid policy and politics – the Developmental Leadership Program and the Governance and Social Development Resource Centre – and our research is regularly cited in UK parliamentary enquiries and DFID, OECD and World Bank publications. We are also co-host of the Aid Attitudes Tracker initiative (funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; and regularly participate in public and practitioner debates on the future of aid policy.

Watch David Hudson explain research he’s been involved with on tracking attitudes to aid in the UK, France, Germany and the US: Development aid: how do you convince the public that progress is possible?

Postgraduate Researchers

Research projects

  • Aid Attitudes Tracker/Development Engagement Lab David Hudson, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 


Beswick, D., Fisher, J., Hurt, S. and Harrison, G., (eds), (2018) Britain and Africa in the 21st Century: Between Ambition and Pragmatism. Manchester: Manchester University Press

Dasandi, N and Erez, L. (2017) The Donor’s Dilemma: International Aid and Human Rights Violations, British Journal of Political Science

Fisher, J. (2016) Reproducing Remoteness? States, Internationals and the Co-Constitution of Aid 'Bunkerization in the East African Periphery”, Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, 11 (1), 98-119

Fisher, J. and Anderson, D M. (2019) Africa’s New Authoritarians: Aid, Securitisation and Statebuilding. London and New York: C Hurst & Co and Oxford University Press

Fisher, J. and Marquette, H. (2015) “Empowered Patient” or “Doctor Knows Best”? Political Economy Analysis and Ownership, Development in Practice, 26 (1)115-126

Petrikova, I. and Hudson, D. (2017) Which Aid Initiatives Strengthen Food Security? Lessons from Uttar Pradesh, Development in Practice, 27 (2), 220-233

Scotto, T., J Reifler, J., Hudson, D. and VanHeerde-Hudson, J. (2017) “We Spend How Much? Misperceptions, Innumeracy, and Support for Foreign Aid in the United States and Great Britain, Journal of Experimental Political Science, 4 (2), 119-128