SOAS University of London

Launch of major SOAS-led project on war and drugs and building sustainable economies

20 March 2018

SOAS University of London’s Department of Development Studies will be welcoming researchers in three of the world’s largest drug-producing countries, Afghanistan, Colombia and Myanmar to launch a new Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) project led by Jonathan Goodhand, Professor in Conflict and Development Studies.

Speakers include:

German Espejo, Deputy Colombian Ambassador to Great Britain

Bianca Jinga, Head, Governance Security and Poverty Pillar, DFID 

Jonathan Goodhand, Professor in Conflict and Development Studies, SOAS

Mandy Sadan, Reader in the History of South East Asia, SOAS (Chair)

Orzala Ashraf Nemat, Director, Afghan Research and Evaluation Unit

Francisco Gutiérrez Sanín, Universidad Nacional de Colombia

Dan Seng Lawn, Director, Kachinland Research Centre

Wars on drugs have been declared by leaders across countries who are concerned about the
impacts of illicit drugs on security, development and health. However, a new approach is
needed which is defined by the drug producing countries themselves, and which recognises
what the trade-offs are and who bears the costs of drug policies.

“Drugs and (dis)order: Building sustainable peacetime economies in the aftermath of war” is a major £7 million RCUK funded project that will generate a new evidence base and build the capacity of researchers in drug affected countries so that polices can better address the challenge of transforming illicit economies.

The project is a research consortium with members from the UK (London
School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), London School of Economics (LSE),
Christian Aid, ALCIS and PositiveNegatives), Afghanistan (Afghan Research and Evaluation
Unit (AREU) and the Organisation for Sustainable Development Research (OSDR)), Colombia
(Universidad Nacional de Colombia and the Research Centre on Drugs and Security,
Universidad de los Andes) and Myanmar (Kachinland Research Centre (KRC) and the Shan
Herald Agency for News).

The speakers at this event will provide some background to the wider international context
and the project itself. This will be followed by a panel discussion between researchers from
Afghanistan, Colombia and Myanmar. Afterwards, there will be an informal drinks reception
which will include an exhibition of the types of materials and data the project aims to

The event will be held on Friday 23 March at 6pm. To find out more, visit the event pages.