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Department of Development Studies

Development Policy, Aid, Institutions and Poverty Reduction Research Cluster

At a time of global financial crisis, and as the deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals rapidly approaches, issues of aid, the focus of development policy, and the ability of development institutions to meet the MDG targets and address broader questions of poverty, marginality, equality and equity are under close scrutiny and subjects for intense debate. The Department of Development Studies, SOAS, has an international reputation for research on development policy, aid and institutions. Research in this area examines the evolution and shifting focus of development policy and narratives; a critical approach to exploring the impact of development policy and aid; evaluation of aid and development interventions; and the role of development actors such as (but not confined to) non-governmental organisations, civil society and civil society organisations, state-institutions, international organisations, and a range of other non-state actors engaged in development. Research in these areas draws on a range of disciplines, reflecting the background of the department’s research expertise: history, anthropology, development economics, and political science. The cluster also draws on the expertise of SOAS’ Centre for Development Policy and Research, which has developed international recognition for its expertise on policy issues in this area.

Current research themes include:
  • Non-governmental organisations and new non-state development actors
  • Monitoring and evaluating aid effectiveness
  • Pro-poor development and sectoral policies (including agricultural and industrial development policies
  • Political economy of aid and conflict
  • Neoliberalism