SOAS University of London

Centre for Development, Environment and Policy (CeDEP)

CeDEP Research

The Centre for Development, Environment and Policy brings together staff with strong but diverse specialist skills addressing major global challenges. We address these challenges from a primarily social science perspective, but are committed to working in interdisciplinary and international teams and groups. We are experienced in, and committed to, working to promote effective and sustainable development, policy and environmental management with support from a wide range of research and international development funding agencies.

Major research activities focus on policies and programmes addressing climate change and development, sustainable and nutritious food systems, environmental management as well as the processes and politics of policy change.

All CeDEP academic team members are actively involved in research: overseeing and/or participating in various projects; collaborating with a range of national and international partners; and publishing extensively. Research is conducted in a wide range of countries in Latin America, Africa, South and East Asia, as well as Europe.

Major research themes

  • Sustainable and Nutritious Food Systems: CeDEP has a world leading reputation in research at the interface of agriculture, food, nutrition and environmental sustainability. We work with partners from multiple disciplines and institutions across the world, and are involved in several large scale research projects examining how global food systems can contribute to delivering better health and environmental outcomes.
  • Climate change and development: CeDEP research examines the interface between climate change and development challenges, including both mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to impacts. Our research is particularly interested in policy and planning processes, anticipatory decision-making and urban contexts. We take an applied, multi-disciplinary approach, working with international partners, other SOAS departments and the London International Development Centre.
  • Approaches for sustainable development and environmental management, particularly relating to the atmosphere, air pollution, water resources, and the environmental and developmental impacts of intensive agriculture.
  • Policy and politics: A major theme that cuts across our research areas is the study of policy and the political processes involved in policymaking.


Recent publications by academic staff can be found listed on their respective staff pages.

Current and/or recent projects

CeDEP staff are involved in a diverse array of projects, further details of which can be found on their respective staff pages. Examples of recent and current projects include:

Sustainable and Healthy Food Systems (SHEFS):

SHEFS is a programme aiming to provide policy makers with novel, interdisciplinary evidence to define future food systems policies that deliver nutritious and healthy foods in an environmentally sustainable and socially equitable manner.

Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA)

The Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA) consortium is a five-year research programme that examines which pathways to agricultural commercialisation are the most effective in empowering women, reducing rural poverty and improving food and nutrition security in sub-Saharan Africa.Working across three work streams in six focal countries, APRA aims to generate new evidence on pathways to agricultural commercialisation.

Market Intervention for Nutritional Improvement (MINI):

MINI is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and UK Aid. It is set in India, Bangladesh and Ethiopia, and aims to study the potential for a market aggregation service to improve the availability of nutritious fresh produce (vegetables and poultry) in local markets.

Water resources protection in China and the UK:

Funded by the UK-China Sustainable Agriculture Innovation Network (SAIN), this project aimed to achieve more sustainable management of nitrogen and phosphorous in agro-ecosystems. The project has developed and exchanged innovation in the fields of knowledge, practice, policy and governance, with a focus on regional examples that capture key farming systems within both China and the UK.

Understanding adaptation planning and finance in South Asia

Research to support knowledge sharing, examining the ACT (Action on Climate Today) programme, a five-year initiative with governments in South Asia to develop and finance adaptation strategies to build resilience to the impact of climate change, funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

Forecast-based Early Action

A range of large-scale social protection and risk financing initiatives, as well as promising innovations in forecast-based early action (FbA), have emerged in recent years. The Taking Forecast-Based Early Action to Scale project assesses the evidence, political economy and opportunities for institutionalising FbA through modifications to existing forecasting, decision-making, financing and delivery mechanisms. The project is funded under the UK Met Office WISER programme.

Triple Dividend of Disaster Risk Management

An applied research project working with internationally renowned experts in the economics of disaster risk management, focused on a framework for and evidence of wider breadth of co-benefits from investments to build disaster resilience. A framework for conducting more complete appraisals of investments is now being employed across a variety of international agencies and programming. Funded by the World Bank’s Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery.

Action Against Stunting:

The ‘UKRI GCRF Action against Stunting Hub’ is an interdisciplinary team comprising researchers from 18 institutions. Running for a five-year period from March 2019 –March 2024, the Hub aims to transform current research on child undernutrition or stunting. SOAS research for the hub focuses on how food systems can contribute to alleviating stunting.

Past projects