SOAS Development for Transformation Centre


The SOAS Development for Transformation Centre (DevTraC)* aims to harness research, evidence and knowledge exchange to contribute towards more just, equitable and sustainable forms of global development. 

The centre is located in the SOAS Department of Development Studies, draws upon SOAS’ cutting edge research and thematic and regional expertise, to address today’s crucial development challenges. The centre builds upon long term partnerships with policy-makers, development agencies, civil society organisations and activists who live in, or work on, the regions studied at SOAS.

*Previously known as the Centre for Development Policy and Research (CDPR). 


The aims of DevTraC are: 

  • engage in innovative policy-oriented research on crucial development issues
  • promote spaces for ‘critical conversations’ between researchers, policy makers and practitioners and activists
  • facilitate research and knowledge exchange within the international development arena 


Fostering "critical conversations"

SOAS DevTraC and the Department of Development Studies are organising a the Development Studies Seminar Series which will bring together academics, students, policy makers and practitioners with an interest and engagement in questions of topical development issues. Learn about the upcoming seminar.

The SOAS DevTraC also offers a podcast series covering critical conversations in international development, with academics, researchers and practitioners. Now available on SpotifySoundCloud & Google Podcasts 

Delivering research and evidence-based perspectives and policy recommendations

SOAS Development for Transformation Centre delivers research and evidence-based perspectives and policy recommendations, and development viewpoints which draw on research conducted by SOAS researchers in the field of international development.

SOAS DevTraC’s predecessor, the Centre for Development Policy and Research (CDPR), also published numerous development viewpoints and policy briefs, a selection of which are available under ‘Publications’. 

Partnering with international and regional organisations to amplify global perspectives

SOAS DevTraC works to support regional partnerships involving SOAS researchers and external organisations, whose research outputs have global implications. Recent examples include the Research and Evidence Facility (REF), a research consortium led by SOAS and funded by the EU Commission which is established to generate a better understanding of the drivers of instability, migration, and displacement in the greater Horn of Africa, and produce evidence and policy relevant knowledge.

In collaboration with the UN regional office, the centre also organised the launch of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN-ESCWA) report, "World Development Challenges: Development Progress from a Broader Lens". The report proposes a new lens for measuring development in the form of a development challenges index (DCI), which aims to capture the complex challenges facing developed and developing countries. A recording of the event is now available. 

SOAS DevTraC builds upon partnerships with regional and international organisations established by CDPR with its focus on the macroeconomics of poverty with UN agencies such as the UNDP, and other international and government institutions.  

Examples of CDPR’s collaborations are listed below: 



All staff of the Department of Development Studies are members of the SOAS DevTraC. Key SOAS DevTraC contacts are:

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