Development Studies Internet Resources

Prof. William A. Joseph | Department of Political Science | Wellesley College


Alphabetical Listing of Sites

* Descriptive annotations are taken from organization web sites unless otherwise noted.
** Inclusion of sites here does not imply any political or academic endorsement.
*** Please report broken links or recommend additional resources to Prof. William A. Joseph

News and Views

Impact Your World: Poverty - Special Reports from CNN

New York Times Topics: Third World and Developing Countries

afrol News

    • afrol News is an independent news agency, established in 2000. We exclusively cover the African continent, in English, Spanish, French and in Portuguese .

Global Voices

    • Global Voices is a leading participatory media news room for voices from the developing world. Begun in 2005 as a simple blog hosted at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, Global Voices has grown into a vibrant global community of more than 150 active volunteer authors and translators and more than 20 freelance part- time regional and language editors.

Inter Press Service

    • Inter Press Service-- World news stressing developing countries, from a "global news agency producing independent news and analysis about events and global processes affecting the economic, social and political development of peoples and nations, especially in the [global] South." Focus of the site is on civil society and the South, development issues, globalization, and those excluded from it.


    • KIOSKEN has links to news media all over the world, mainly to newspapers in the countries' own language(s), but many papers have English language sites. Arranged by continent:

    • World-Newspapers-- Searchable directory of online English-language newspapers and news sites around the world, by country, plus magazines by type.

World News Network

    • Delivers breaking news from all over the world in 43 Languages.

Watching America

    • Discover What the World Thinks About U.S. With Translated Foreign News Available NOWHERE Else In English.

The WWW Virtual Library: International Affairs Resource- News Sources

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Governmental Organizations:

National Development Agencies:

United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)

DFID - UK Department for International Development

The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (Germany)

Groupe Agence Française de Développement (France)

MASHAV – Israel's Center for International Cooperation

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)

Swedish Cooperative Development Agency

SDC - Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation

The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad)

Other Government and Quasi-Governmental Development Organizations

The Peace Corps (US)

National Endowment for Democracy (NED)

    • The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is a private, nonprofit organization created in 1983 to strengthen democratic institutions around the world through nongovernmental efforts. The Endowment is governed by an independent, nonpartisan board of directors. With its annual congressional appropriation, it makes hundreds of grants each year to support prodemocracy groups in Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and the former Soviet Union.

The International Development Research Centre (IDRC)

    • iIDRC s a Crown corporation created by the Parliament of Canada in 1970 to help developing countries use science and technology to find practical, long-term solutions to the social, economic, and environmental problems they face. Our support is directed toward creating a local research community whose work will build healthier, more equitable, and more prosperous societies.

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International, Inter-Governmental, & Multi-Lateral Organizations:

UNDP | United Nations Development Programme

United Nations Millenium Development Goals

UNCTAD | United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

UNICEF | The United Nations Children's Fund

UNIFEM | United Nations Development Fund for Women

UNDEF | United Nations Democracy Fund

The World Bank

The International Monetary Fund (IMF)

WHO | World Health Organization

World Trade Organization | WTO

Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) Development Co-operation Directorate (DCD)

The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA)

  • IDEA is an intergovernmental organization that supports sustainable democracy worldwide. Its objective is to strengthen democratic institutions and processes.

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Regional Organizations:

About Multi-Lateral Development Banks (World Bank)

African Development Bank

African Union

    • The advent of the African Union (AU) can be described as an event of great magnitude in the institutional evolution of the continent. On 9.9.1999, the Heads of State and Government of the Organisation of African Unity issued a Declaration (the Sirte Declaration) calling for the establishment of an African Union, with a view, inter alia, to accelerating the process of integration in the continent to enable it play its rightful role in the global economy while addressing multifaceted social, economic and political problems compounded as they are by certain negative aspects of globalisation.

Asian Development Bank

Development Bank for Southern Africa

Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

    • The Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) is a regional group of fifteen countries, founded in 1975. Its mission is to promote economic integration in "all fields ofeconomic activity, particularly industry, transport, telecommunications, energy, agriculture, natural resources, commerce, monetary and financial questions, social and cultural matters ....."

Inter-American Development Bank

The New Partnership For Africa's Development (NEPAD)

    • NEPAD is an economic development program of the African Union. It is designed to address the current challenges facing the African continent. Issues such as the escalating poverty levels, underdevelopment and the continued marginalisation of Africa needed a new radical intervention, spearheaded by African leaders, to develop a new Vision that would guarantee Africa’s Renewal.

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Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) & Volunteer Organizations:

Arts For Global Development

    • Arts For Global Development is an international volunteer based initiative with a purpose of furthering interdisciplinary, multisectoral, cross-cultural and creative approach in social change, and facilitating creative sector and stakeholders of development together empower socially and economically disadvantaged individuals and communities worldwide, particularly children, youth, and women.


    • Our vision is of just, enlightened, healthy and democratic societies free from hunger, poverty, environmental degradation and all forms of exploitation based on age, sex, religion and ethnicity.

Duke University NGO Research Guide

Global Citizen Corps

    • Global Citizen Corps is a national network of youth who think and act globally, have the passion to build a better world, and are committed to ending global poverty. As part of Mercy Corps, we’ve joined the movement of committed Americans who will transform the world.

Global Development Commons

    • Our small team is made up of development practitioners who are fascinated by innovations in technology and their potential for enriching people’s lives. is a pilot of the Global Development Commons, which is an initiative of the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

Global Poverty Project

    • The Global Poverty Project is the vision of Hugh Evans and Simon Moss, both of whom were intimately involved in the Australian MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY campaign. These two campaigners are committed to ending extreme poverty, and believe that citizens from around the world can make this vision a reality. The Global Poverty Project team is creating a slideshow presentation and film that will communicate the realities of extreme poverty and what can be done about it by everyday people around the world.

The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES)

    • The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) is the world’s premiere election assistance organization, providing countries with technical advice and tools to run democratic elections. IFES is an international, nonpartisan democracy development organization that works to give people a voice in the way they are governed.

The International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)

    • ICRW seeks to promote a world free of poverty in which women and men, girls and boys have equal opportunities to achieve their potential and realize their rights.

Jubilee Debt Campaign

    • Jubilee Debt Campaign is demanding an end to the scandal of poor countries paying money to the rich world. We are calling for 100% cancellation of unpayable and unfair poor country debts.

Mercy Corps

    • Mercy Corps works amid disasters, conflicts, chronic poverty and instability to unleash the potential of people who can win against nearly impossible odds. Since 1979, Mercy Corps has provided $1.5 billion in assistance to people in 106 nations. Supported by headquarters offices in North America and Europe, the agency's unified global programs employ 3,500 staff worldwide and reach nearly 16.4 million people in more than 35 countries.

Plan (UK)

    • Plan is a child-centred community development organisation with no religious and political affiliations, enabling families and communities in the poorest countries to make lasting improvements to the lives of their children.

The Population Council

    • The Population Council, an international, nonprofit, nongovernmental organization, seeks to improve the well-being and reproductive health of current and future generations around the world and to help achieve a humane, equitable, and sustainable balance between people and resources.

NGO Worldline

    • Links to NGOs, most of which are development-related.

The South Centre

    • The South Centre (the Centre) is an intergovernmental organization of developing countries established by an Intergovernmental Agreement (Treaty) which came into force on 31 July 1995 with its headquarters in Geneva. The South Centre has grown out of the work and experience of the South Commission and its follow-up mechanism, and from recognition of the need for enhanced South-South co-operation. The Report of the South Commission -- emphasized that the South is not well organized at the global level and has thus not been effective in mobilizing its considerable combined expertise and experience, nor its bargaining power. The South Centre is therefore intended to meet the need for analysis of development problems and experience, as well as to provide intellectual and policy support required by developing countries for collective and individual action, particularly in the international arena.

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Professional Organizations:

Development Gateway

    • The Development Gateway Foundation’s online resources portal for development information and knowledge-sharing worldwide. The tools on this web site bring together people and organizations around the globe who are working to improve life in developing countries.

ELDIS (University of Sussex)

    • A gateway to global development information on international development issues.

Global Development Network

    • GDN is a worldwide association of research and policy institutes promotes the generation, sharing, and application to policy of multidisciplinary knowledge for the purpose of development. We seek to identify the challenges of development and offer solutions from a different perspective - that of researchers living in developing and transition countries. Our aim is to equip people living in the daily crisis of poverty with the skills to provide their own home-grown solutions. This would ensure that policy emerging out of this local knowledge has two essential features ensuring its success - broad based support and relevance

Society for International Development (SID)

    • The Society for International Development (SID) is a global network of individuals and institutions concerned with development which is participative, pluralistic and sustainable. SID has over 3000 members in 80 countries and 45 local chapters. It works with more than 100 associations, networks and institutions involving academia, parliamentarians, students, political leaders and development experts, both at local and international level.

The Third World Network

    • Third World Network (TWN) is an independent non-profit international network of organisations and individuals involved in issues relating to development, Third World and North-South affairs.

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Academic Sites, Think Tanks, & Research Centers

The British Library for Development Studies

    • Europe's largest research collection on economic and social change in developing countries.

Center for Global Development

    • CGD is an independent, not-for-profit think tank that works to reduce global poverty and inequality by encouraging policy change in the U.S. and other rich countries through rigorous research and active engagement with the policy community.

Development Economics and Economic Development (Prof. Giorgio Secondi)

The Earth Institute (Columbia University)

    • The Earth Institute’s overarching goal is to help achieve sustainable development primarily by expanding the world’s understanding of Earth as one integrated system. We work toward this goal through scientific research, education and the practical application of research for solving real-world challenges. The Earth Institute is directed by Jefferey Sachs.

The Global Development Research Center

    • The Global Development Research Center is a virtual organization that carries out initiatives in education, research and practices, in the spheres of environment, urban, community and information, and at scales that are effective.

Institute for Development Studies (University of Sussex)

The Human Development and Capability Association

    • The Human Development and Capability Association (HDCA) shall promote high quality research in the interconnected areas of human development and capability. It shall be concerned with research in these areas across a broad range of topics where the human development and capability approaches have made and can make significant contributions, including the quality of life, poverty, justice, gender, development and environment inter alia

PRAXIS: Resources For Social and Economic Development

    • Welcome to PRAXIS, the international development homepage of Prof. Richard J. Estes of the University of Pennsylvania. PRAXIS provides access to a vast array of archival resources on international and comparative social development. The intellectual commitment of PRAXIS is to the promotion of positive social change through informed action.

The Róbinson Rojas Archive

    • Created and managed by Dr. Róbinson Rojas, The Róbinson Rojas Archive is an academic site promoting excellence in teaching and researching economics and development.

Trade, Equity, and Development Program (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace)

Third World Network

    • Third World Network (TWN) is an independent non-profit international network of organisations and individuals involved in issues relating to development, Third World and North-South affairs.

University of Texas Inequality Project

    • UTIP is a small research group concerned with measuring and explaining movements of inequality in wages and earnings and patterns of industrial change around the world.We believe we can establish reasonably reliable relationships between these measures and the broader concepts of inequality, such as income inequality.

Worlds Apart: Measuring International and Global Inequality (Prof. Branko Milanovic)

WWW Virtual Library: International Development (Professor Wayne A. Selcher)

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Association for Women in Development (AWID)

    • The Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID) is an international, multi-generational, feminist, creative, future-orientated membership organization committed to achieving gender equality, sustainable development and women's human rights. A dynamic network of women and men around the world, AWID members are researchers, academics, students, educators, activists, business people, policy-makers, development practitioners, funders, and mores.


    DAWN [seeks] to influence global debates on development by offering holistic analyses from a South feminist perspective that is both grounded in women's experience and inspired by women's collective strategies and visions. The DAWN network today covers Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Pacific. DAWN work at the regional level connects with the priorities of women's and civil society organisations in each region, and helps strengthen capacity to deal with issues arising from the impacts of globalisation.

Gender Action

    • Gender Action's mission is to promote women's rights and gender equality and ensure women and men equally participate in and benefit from Financial Institution (FI) investments in developing countries.

The Girl Effect

UNDP Gender-related Development Index (GDI)

      The Gender Related Development Index (GDI) is a composite index that measures human development in the same dimensions as the HDI while adjusting for gender inequality in those basic dimensions. Its coverage is limited to 136 countries and areas for which the HDI rank was recalculated.

UNDP Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM)

    • The Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM) is a composite indicator that captures gender inequality in three key areas: the extent of women's political participation and decision-making, economic participation and decision making-power and the power exerted by women over economic resources.

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CGAP: Consultative Group to Assist the Poor

    • CGAP is an independent policy and research center dedicated to advancing financial access for the world's poor. It is supported by over 30 development agencies and private foundations who share a common mission to alleviate poverty. Housed at the World Bank, CGAP provides market intelligence, promotes standards, develops innovative solutions and offers advisory services to governments, microfinance providers, donors, and investors.

Centre for Micro Finance (CMF)

    • Critical gaps remain in our knowledge of how to most efficiently deliver microfinance services and how microfinance can best be used as a tool to fight poverty. The Centre for Micro Finance (CMF) was established in 2005 to help fill these gaps. The mission of the Centre is to improve the accessibility and quality of financial services for the poor through rigorous research, knowledge dissemination and evidence-based policy for MFIs.

Grameen Bank (Bangladesh)

    • The origin of Grameen Bank can be traced back to 1976 when Professor Muhammad Yunus, Head of the Rural Economics Program at the University of Chittagong, launched an action research project to examine the possibility of designing a credit delivery system to provide banking services targeted at the rural poor. Grameen means "rural" or "village" in Bangla language.

K-Rep Bank (Kenya)

    • K-Rep Bank provides financial services to all because it believes that this is a basic human right that every Kenyan, especially the low-income, small and micro entrepreneurs must have access to. It further believes that the access to this service is an essential ingredient for eradicating poverty developing this country. The Bank therefore aims at bringing the Micro Finance to the centre of the banking sector arena, as opposed to the peripheral financial activity it has hitherto been perceived to be.

MicroPlace: Invest Wisely, End Poverty

  • MicroPlace’s mission is to help alleviate global poverty by enabling everyday people to make investments in the world’s working poor. Our idea is simple. Microfinance institutions around the world have discovered an effective way to help the world’s working poor lift themselves out of poverty. These organizations need capital to expand and reach more of the working poor. At the same time, millions of everyday people here in the United States are looking for ways to make investments that yield a financial return while making a positive impact on the world. MicroPlace simply connects investors with microfinance institutions looking for funds.


    • The MIX MARKET is a global, web-based, microfinance information platform. It provides information to sector actors and the public at large on microfinance institutions (MFIs) worldwide, public and private funds that invest in microfinance, MFI networks, raters/external evaluators, advisory firms, and governmental and regulatory agencies. The MIX Market seeks to develop a transparent information market to link MFIs worldwide with Investors and Donors and promote greater investment and information flows. Extensive data on microfinance available.

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Foundations & Philanthropies:

The Ford Foundation

    • The Ford Foundation is a resource for innovative people and institutions around the world. We were founded to advance human welfare, and all of our work flows from this fundamental commitment. The Ford Foundation is a resource for innovative people and institutions worldwide. Our goals for more than half a century have been to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, advance human achievement.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

    • The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (B&MGF) is the 4th largest transparently operated private foundation in the world, founded by Bill and Melinda Gates. The primary aims of the foundation are, globally, to enhance healthcare and reduce extreme poverty, and, in the United States, to expand educational opportunities and access to information technology. (From Wikipedia)

Global Impact

    • Since its founding in 1956, Global Impact’s goal has been to help the millions in need in developing countries gain access to the tools and skills they need to work their way out of poverty.

Mo Ibrahim Foundation

    • The Mo Ibrahim Foundation has been established to promote African development, with a special focus on promoting good governance in sub-Saharan Africa. Dr Mo Ibrahim is one of Africa's most successful business leaders. Born in Sudan in 1946, Dr Ibrahim is the founder of Celtel International, a mobile telephone company with operations across sub-Saharan Africa.

Open Society Institute (Soros Foundation)

    • The Open Society Institute works to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens. To achieve its mission, OSI seeks to shape public policies that assure greater fairness in political, legal, and economic systems and safeguard fundamental rights. On a local level, OSI implements a range of initiatives to advance justice, education, public health, and independent media. At the same time, OSI builds alliances across borders and continents on issues such as corruption and freedom of information. OSI places a high priority on protecting and improving the lives of people in marginalized communities.

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Global Development Program

    • The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has been making grants since 1967 to solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world.The Foundation concentrates its resources on activities in education, environment, global development, performing arts, and population.

The Nike Foundation

    • The Nike Foundation ( is a non-profit organization supported by NIKE, Inc., that is dedicated to investing in adolescent girls as the most powerful force for change in the developing world. NIKE, Inc. ( based near Beaverton, Oregon, is the world’s leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities.

The Rockefeller Foundation

    • Since its establishment in 1913, the Rockefeller Foundation has sought to identify and attack at their source the underlying causes of human suffering. The Foundation pioneered the frontier of global philanthropy and continues to find and fund solutions to many of the world’s most intractable challenges.

The United Nations Foundation

    • The UN Foundation, a public charity, was created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities. We are an advocate for the UN and a platform for connecting people, ideas and resources to help the United Nations solve global problems.

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Religious Organizations:

Islamic Development Bank

    • The purpose of the Bank is to foster the economic development and social progress of member countries and Muslim communities individually as well as jointly in accordance with the principles of Shari'ah i.e., Islamic Law.

IsraAid: The Israel Forum for International Humanitarian Aid

    • IsraAID is a coordinating body of Israeli and Jewish NGOs (non governmental organizations) and other interested parties based in Israel that are active in development and relief work and concerned about global issues ("Tikkun Olam").


    • The purpose of the Poverty Program is two-fold: first to educate, publicize social and moral issues and events that impact poverty here at home and in the world; and second, a web site for use by service organizations to list their services and their volunteer needs.

World Vision

    • World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. We serve close to 100 million people in nearly 100 countries around the world. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. Motivated by our faith in Jesus Christ, we serve alongside the poor and oppressed as a demonstration of God’s unconditional love for all people.

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Gender and Development

    • Since 1993, Gender & Development has aimed to promote, inspire, and support development policy and practice, which furthers the goal of equality between women and men. This journal has a readership in over 90 countries and uses clear accessible language. Each issue of Gender & Development focuses on a topic of key interest to all involved in promoting gender equality through development. An up-to-the minute overview of the topic is followed by a range of articles from researchers, policy makers, and practitioners. Insights from development initiatives across the world are shared and analysed, and lessons identified. Innovative theoretical concepts are explored by key academic writers, and the uses of these concepts for policy and practice are explored. Each issue includes an up-to-date resources section, listing publications, electronic resources, and organisations. Wellesley College Access

Global Politician

    • Global Politician is an independent journal of politics and world affairs. Global Politician has grown rapidly in recent months, and now gets over 100,000 unique visitors a month. The magazine provides a service seldom found any place else. One the one hand, we have exclusive interviews with leading figures and reporting from remote parts of the world that is usually available only in mainstream press. On the other, the Global Politician has straight forward and sometimes politically-incorrect analysis usually seen only in high-level blogs and alternative media.

International Third World Studies Journal & Review

    • The International Third World Studies Journal and Review is an annual interdisciplinary journal of scholarship in the field of Third World studies. Articles and book reviews range from analysis of Third World economics and politics to scholarly examination of Third World culture, media, education, literature, health issues, and philosophy.

Journal of Development Studies

    • The Journal of Development Studies was the first and is one of the best known international journals in the area of development studies. Since its foundation in 1964, it has published many seminal articles on development and opened up many new areas of debate. We invite articles from across academic disciplines.

Journal of Human Development

    • Journal of Human Development: A Multi-Disciplinary Journal for People-Centered Development is a peer reviewed journal launched in January 2000 to provide new perspectives on challenges of human development, capability expansion, and poverty eradication - human well being, markets, growth, social justice and human rights. The Editors believe that development is more than about economic growth. It is also about improving the well being of people, and expanding the choices and opportunities they have. Development policies cut across economic, social and political issues. Wellesley College Access

Journal of Peasant Studies

    • The Journal of Peasant Studies is one of the leading journals in the field of rural development. It was founded on the initiative of Terence J. Byres and its first editors were Byres, Charles Curwen and Teodor Shanin. It provokes and promotes critical thinking about social structures, institutions, actors and processes of change in and in relation to the rural world. It encourages inquiry into how agrarian power relations between classes and other social groups are created, understood, contested and transformed. The Journal pays special attention to questions of 'agency' of marginalized groups in agrarian societies, particularly their autonomy and capacity to interpret - and change - their conditions. Wellesley College Access

The New Internationalist

    • The New Internationalist workers' co-operative (NI) exists to report on the issues of world poverty and inequality; to focus attention on the unjust relationship between the powerful and powerless worldwide; to debate and campaign for the radical changes necessary to meet the basic needs of all; and to bring to life the people, the ideas and the action in the fight for global justice. Wellesley College Access

Oxford Development Studies

    • Oxford Development Studies is a multidisciplinary academic journal aimed at the student, research and policy-making community, which provides a forum for rigorous and critical analysis of conventional theories and policy issues in all aspects of development, and aims to contribute to new approaches. It covers a number of disciplines related to development, including economics, history, politics, anthropology and sociology, and will publish quantitative papers as well as surveys of literature. Wellesley College Access

Studies in Comparative International Development

    • Studies in Comparative International Development (SCID) (ISSN 0039-3606) is an interdisciplinary journal that addresses issues concerning political, social, economic, and environmental change in local, national, and international contexts. Among its major emphases are political and state institutions; the effects of a changing international economy; political-economic models of growth and distribution; and the transformation of social structure and culture. Wellesley College Access

Third World Quarterly

    • Third World Quarterly (TWQ) is the leading journal of scholarship and policy in the field of international studies. For three decades it has set the agenda on development discourses of the global debate. As the most influential academic journal covering the emerging worlds, TWQ is at the forefront of analysis and commentary on fundamental issues of global concern. TWQ examines all the issues that affect the many Third Worlds and is not averse to publishing provocative and exploratory articles, especially if they have the merit of opening up emerging areas of research that have not been given sufficient attention. Wellesley College Access

United Nations Human Development Reports

World Bank Development Reports

World Bank Research Digest

    • The Research Digest is a quarterly publication aimed at communicating, in an accessible and timely way, the findings of research relevant for development policy. The research featured in this digest has been selected based on several criteria: it is of high quality, path-breaking, relevant for policy, and useful for the development community.

World Development

    • World Development is a multi-disciplinary monthly journal of development studies. It seeks to explore ways of improving standards of living, and the human condition generally, by examining potential solutions to problems such as: poverty, unemployment, malnutrition, disease, lack of shelter, environmental degradation, inadequate scientific and technological resources, trade and payments imbalances, international debt, gender and ethnic discrimination, militarism and civil conflict, and lack of popular participation in economic and political life. Wellesley College Access

E-journals Development-related- free access (The British Library for Development Studies)

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Statistics, Data, and Maps:

CIA World Factbook

The Cingranelli-Richards (CIRI) Human Rights Dataset

    • The Cingranelli-Richards (CIRI) Human Rights Dataset contains standards-based quantitative information on government respect for 15 internationally recognized human rights for 195 countries, annually from 1981-2007.

Commitment to Development Index

    • Rich and poor countries are linked in many ways—by foreign aid, commerce, migration, the environment, and military affairs. The Commitment to Development Index (CDI) rates 22 rich countries on how much they help poor countries build prosperity, good government, and security. Each rich country gets scores in seven policy areas, which are averaged for an overall score.

Ethnologue: Languages of the World

    • An encyclopedic reference work cataloging all of the world’s 6,912 known living languages.

Europa World [Wellesley College Access Only]

    • Online version of the Europa World Year Book, offering a succinct yet thorough overview of the political & economic situation in more than 250 countries and territories.


    • Gapminder is a non-profit venture promoting sustainable global development and achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals by increased use and understanding of statistics and other information about social, economic and environmental development at local, national and global levels.

GeoHive: Global Statistics

    • Welcome to GeoHive, a site with geopolitical data, statistics on the human population, Earth and more. The main kind of data you can find here is population statistics of regions, countries, provinces and cities. Next to that there are some statistics on economic factors like wealth, infrastructure; statistics on natural phenomena; etc.

Geoportal/United Nations Environmental Programme

    • The GEO Data Portal is the authoritative source for data sets used by UNEP and its partners in the Global Environment Outlook (GEO) report and other integrated environment assessments. Its online database holds more than 450 different variables, as national, subregional, regional and global statistics or as geospatial data sets (maps), covering themes like Freshwater, Population, Forests, Emissions, Climate, Disasters, Health and GDP.

Global Health Facts

    •, a project of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, provides free, up-to-date and easy-to-access data by country on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other key health and socio-economic indicators. The data are displayed in tables, charts, and color-coded maps and can be downloaded for custom analyses. is a companion site to, a project operated by the Foundation with major support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Index Mundi

    • This site contains detailed country statistics, charts, and maps compiled from multiple sources.


    • Welcome to NationMaster, a massive central data source and a handy way to graphically compare nations. NationMaster is a vast compilation of data from such sources as the CIA World Factbook, UN, and OECD...You can generate maps and graphs on all kinds of statistics with ease.

OECD-DAC Aid Statistics

Populations Reference Bureau

    • PRB informs people from around the world and in the United States about issues related to population, health, and the environment. To do this, we transform technical data and research into accurate, easy-to-understand information.

United Nations Human Development Report

United Nations Statistics Division

United Nations Millenium Development Goals Indicators

US Bureau of the Census International Database

    • The International Data Base (IDB) offers a variety of demographic indicators for countries and areas of the world with a population of 5,000 or more.

World Bank Data & Statistics

World Data Center for Human Interactions in the Environment

    • The World Data Center for Human Interactions in the Environment is one of 51 data centers of the World Data Center System. We are hosted by the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN), a center within The Earth Institute at Columbia University. he WDC for Human Interactions in the Environment promotes the development, dissemination, and preservation of high-quality global data sets related to population, sustainability, poverty, health, hazards, conservation, governance, and climate. We seek to foster the creation of a data commons for global-scale data sets through promoting the network of global data providers.

World Gazetteer

    • The World Gazetteer provides a comprehensive set of population data and related statistics.

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Comparative Rankings & Indices

Corruption Perception Index

    • The annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), first released in 1995, is the best known of Transparency International's tools. It has been widely credited with putting TI and the issue of corruption on the international policy agenda. The CPI ranks 180 countries by their perceived levels of corruption, as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys.

The Economist Intelligence Unit's Index of Democracy (PDF)

    • The Economist has examined the state of democracy in 167 countries and attempted to quantify this with an Economist Intelligence Unit Index of Democracy which focuses on five general categories; electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, functioning of government, political participation and political culture. (From Wikipedia)

Environmental Protection Index

    • The EPI offers a composite index of current national environmental protection efforts. Recognizing that on-the-ground conditions are the ultimate gauge of environmental performance, the EPI focuses on measurable outcomes that can be linked to policy targets and tracked over time. (Columbia & Yale Universities)

Index of Economic Freedom

    • The Index of Economic Freedom covers 162 countries across 10 specific freedoms such as trade freedom, business freedom, investment freedom, and property rights. View scores and rankings for any country, along with detailed data and background analysis. (The Heritage Foundation)

Global Gender Gap

    • The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report is a framework for capturing the magnitude of gender-based disparities across the world and tracking how they evolve over time. (World Economic Forum)

The Globalization Index

    • The world may not be flat for everyone, everywhere, but there’s no turning back the clock on globalization. FOREIGN POLICY partners with A.T. Kearney to measure countries on their economic, personal, technological, and political integration. Find out who’s climbing the ranks, and who’s sliding down.

Gross International Happiness Project

    • The Gross International Happiness Project (‘GIH’) is based on the insight that conventional development concepts such as GNP and Per Capita Income do not properly reflect the general well being of the inhabitants of a nation. In order to develop real progress and sustainability and to effectively combat trends which compromise the planet’s natural and human ecosystems, GIH aims to develop more appropriate and inclusive indicators which truly measure the quality of life within nations and organizations. GIH is inspired by the concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH) proposed by the King of Bhutan, which puts the well being of individuals on top of the national development agenda.

Human Development Report Composite Indices (UNDP)

  • Human Development Index (HDI)
      • The Human Development Index (HDI) measures the average achievements in a country in three basic dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, knowledge and a decent standard of living. It is calculated for 177 countries and areas for which data is available. In addition human development indicators are presented for another 17 UN member countries for which complete data was not available.
  • Gender-related Development Index (GDI)
      • The Gender Related Development Index (GDI) is a composite index that measures human development in the same dimensions as the HDI while adjusting for gender inequality in those basic dimensions. Its coverage is limited to 136 countries and areas for which the HDI rank was recalculated.
  • Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM)
      • The Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM) is a composite indicator that captures gender inequality in three key areas: the extent of women's political participation and decision-making, economic participation and decision making-power and the power exerted by women over economic resources.
  • Human Poverty Index (HPI)
      • Human poverty is primarily a deprivation of choices and opportunities for living a life one has reason to value. Lack of income is therefore far too narrow to serve as a holistic poverty indicator. As a result, a broader measure was devised in order to capture the many—but not exhaustive—dimensions of human poverty.

    World Audit

      • The World Audit report reviews the state of public corruption; current practice in human rights; political rights; free speech; and the overall state of the rule of law in 150 nations (all those exceeding one million population). By reference to these, we compile the world democracy table with its subsidiary statistical tables.

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Governance & Politics

Corruption Perception Index

    • The annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), first released in 1995, is the best known of Transparency International's tools. It has been widely credited with putting TI and the issue of corruption on the international policy agenda. The CPI ranks 180 countries by their perceived levels of corruption, as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys.

The Economist Intelligence Unit's Index of Democracy (PDF)

    • The Economist has examined the state of democracy in 167 countries and attempted to quantify this with an Economist Intelligence Unit Index of Democracy which focuses on five general categories; electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, functioning of government, political participation and political culture. (From Wikipedia) Initiative

    • The focus of the Initiative is on developing countries where ICT can play a significant role in building accountable and democratic governance institutions.

Elections by Country - Wikipedia Up-to-date election results from countries around the world.

IFES Election Guide

    • Election Guide is provided by IFES (The International Foundation for Electoral Systems), an international nonprofit dedicated to the building of democratic societies. Launched in 1998 through a generous grant from USAID, ElectionGuide is the most comprehensive and timely source of verified election information and results available online.

Eurasia Group Political Stability Index

    • The Eurasia Group stability index incorporates 20 composite indicators of emerging market country risk, considering both quantitative and qualitative criteria of stability - defined as the capacity of countries to withstand shocks and crises, and to avoid generating shocks and crises.

Failed States Index

    • Whether it is an unexpected food crisis or a devastating hurricane, the world’s weakest states are the most exposed when crisis strikes. In the fourth annual Failed States Index, FOREIGN POLICY and The Fund for Peace rank the countries where state collapse may be just one disaster away.

Freedom in the World

    • Freedom in the World, the annual survey of global political rights and civil liberties by Freedom House.

Polity IV Project: Political Regime Characteristics and Transitions, 1800-2007

    • The Polity IV Project continues the Polity research tradition of coding the authority characteristics of states in the world system for purposes of comparative, quantitative analysis. The Polity IV Project carries data collection and analysis through 2007 and is under the direction of Monty G. Marshall at the Center for Systemic Peace and George Mason University.

Stanford Comparative Democracy Project

    • This project attempts to overcome the traditional division between academic disciplines and area studies to understand the process of democratization. Sponsored by the Institute for International Studies of Stanford University.

UNDP Democratic Governance Programme

    • More countries than ever before are working to build democratic governance. Their challenge is to develop institutions and processes that are more responsive to the needs of ordinary citizens, including the poor. UNDP brings people together within nations and around the world, building partnerships and sharing ways to promote participation, accountability and effectiveness at all levels. We help countries strengthen their electoral and legislative systems, improve access to justice and public administration, and develop a greater capacity to deliver basic services to those most in need.

UNDP Oslo Governance Centre

    • UNDP established the Oslo Governance Centre in Oslo, Norway in 2002 as part of its global policy network for democratic governance, at a time when it had become clearer than ever that the fundamental issues of democratic governance are critical for meeting the Millennium Development Goals adopted at the Millennium Summit in 2000.

World Audit

    • The World Audit report reviews the state of public corruption; current practice in human rights; political rights; free speech; and the overall state of the rule of law in 150 nations (all those exceeding one million population). By reference to these, we compile the world democracy table with its subsidiary statistical tables.

World Bank Governance and Anti-Corruption

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UC Atlas of Global Inequality (University of California)

    • The mission of the UC Atlas of Inequality is to provide online teaching resources and tools to enable student exploration of global change. Aspects of 21st Century global integration and inequality present great challenges to university teaching. The UC Atlas of Global Inequality attempts to address these challenges using the Internet, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology and new graphical capabilities of digital media to enhance learning in Geography, Sociology, Economics, Health, Technology and Environmental Studies. The Atlas integrates data, maps, and graphs to create an interactive web site for accessing and analyzing information addressing global change and inequality.

Globalis - an interactive world map

    • Globalis is an interactive world atlas where you decide what is to be displayed on the map. Globalis aims to create an understanding for similarities and differences in human societies, as well as how we influence life on the planet. is a collaboration between the Norwegian UN Association, UNEP/GRID-Arendal, UNU/Global Virtual University, the University College of Hedmark and the INTIS schools. The project is supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation.

Global Poverty Mapping Project

    • The Global Poverty Mapping Project seeks to enhance current understanding of the global distribution of poverty and the geographic and biophysical conditions of where the poor live. Additionally, the project aims to assist policy makers, development agencies, and the poor themselves in designing interventions to reduce poverty. The Poverty Mapping Project at CIESIN (The Center for International Earth Science Information Network) at the Earth Institute at Columbia University is funded by the World Bank’s Japan Policy and Human Resource Development (PHRD) Fund.

Poverty Mapping

    • Promoting the use of poverty maps in policy making and targeting assistance, particularly in the areas of food security and environmental management. This site offers you access to a comprehensive library of publications, newsletters, and articles related to poverty and the environment; links to finding additional information; specific information on food security, poverty, and the environment, including case studies from nine developing countries.


    • Worldmapper is a collection of world maps, where territories are re-sized on each map according to the subject of interest. University of Sheffield, UK.

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Audio-Visual Materials

MIT World Videos on Development

  • MIT World is a free and open site that provides on demand video of significant public events at MIT.

TED Talks on "Rethinking Poverty"

Big Picture TV Videos on Development

    • Founded in August 2003, Big Picture TV streams free video clips of world-renowned thinkers and experts in fields relating to environmental and social sustainability. Big Picture TV looks at global problems in a broadly positive context. Challenges such as climate change, species loss, poverty and the proliferation of nuclear arms are sadly all too familiar – but they represent only part of the story. The other part is about solutions – recognising that the crises we face bring with them unparalleled opportunities to rethink, innovate and progress. Our informational videos allow you to hear directly from today’s leading thinkers and innovator.

Democracy Now

Ann Hastings, "Eradicating Global Poverty"

    • Anne Hastings, Executive Director of Fonkoze, Haiti's largest microfinance institution, has searched the globe for a solution to the problem of extreme poverty. March 07, 2008. Walter H. Capps Center Series, University of California, Santa Barbara.

Jefferey Sachs, "The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time, Mar 31, 2005

    • One billion people on the planet are struggling with extreme poverty according to Jeffrey D. Sachs, director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University. In this March 31 lecture, Sachs discusses his new book, The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time, which explores the challenge of global poverty. Sachs also shares accounts of his recent visits to Africa and offers practical solutions to the challenge of global poverty, which he contends can be eliminated by 2025.

Alternative Radio Broadcasts on Development

    • Alternative Radio is a weekly one-hour public affairs program offered free to all public radio stations in the U.S., Canada, Europe, South Africa, Australia, and on short-wave on Radio for Peace International. AR provides information, analyses and views that are frequently ignored or distorted in other media. There are many programs related to development. Use the site search engine for "development." Almost all programs are available for purchase, not for free download. Videos on the People, Issues, and Ideas Changing the Planet

    • helps intelligent, engaged audiences get smart. Our users find, enjoy, and share videos about the people, issues, and ideas changing the world. We gather the web's largest collection of unmediated video drawn from live events, lectures, and debates going on all the time at the world's top universities, think tanks and conferences. We present this provocative, big-idea content for anyone to watch, interact with, and share --when, where, and how they want. [There are many videos related to development studies: search for "developing world," "emerging markets," etc.]

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Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)

    • Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international medical humanitarian organization created by doctors and journalists in France in 1971.Today, MSF provides aid in nearly 60 countries to people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe, primarily due to armed conflict, epidemics, malnutrition, exclusion from health care, or natural disasters. MSF provides independent, impartial assistance to those most in need. MSF reserves the right to speak out to bring attention to neglected crises, to challenge inadequacies or abuse of the aid system, and to advocate for improved medical treatments and protocols. In 1999, MSF received the Nobel Peace Prize.

Rehydration Project

    • Clear, practical advice on preventing and treating diarrhoeal diseases. Guidelines from medical authorities on diagnosis, treatment, symptoms, causes and risk factors, tests, training tips, feedback from the field, alternative medicine and much more for patients and health professional.

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Public Opinion Polls & Surveys

The Pew Global Attitudes Project

    • The Pew Global Attitudes Project is a series of worldwide public opinion surveys that encompasses a broad array of subjects ranging from people's assessments of their own lives to their views about the current state of the world and important issues of the day. More than 175,000 interviews in 54 countries have been conducted as part of the project's work. Searchable by topic.

    • is an international collaborative project whose aim is to give voice to public opinion around the world on international issues. As the world becomes increasingly integrated, problems have become increasingly global, pointing to a greater need for understanding between nations and for elucidating global norms. With the growth of democracy in the world, public opinion has come to play a greater role in the foreign policy process. seeks to reveal the values and views of publics in specific nations around the world as well as global patterns of world public opinion. was initiated by and is managed by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland. Includes links to topics, including development, globalization, trade, human rights, and countries/continents.

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Blood and Milk: identifying what works in international development (Blog)

    • You should not seek change lightly. International development programs should be efficient, effective, and evidence based. They should be implemented by professionals who know what they are doing. They are not easy to run. They are genuine, difficult work, done to make this world a better place to be. International assistance deserves and requires serious thought. This blog is my attempt at that serious thought. I read in a wide range of disciplines including health, philanthropy, entrepreneurship, marketing, anthropology, business, finance, and psychology, and I synthesize that information to find its connection to international development.

Global EnVision

    • Global Envision is a blog that examines how creating responsible market opportunities can lead to new solutions to global poverty. We work hard to offer timely content, analysis and discussion of the relationship between global markets and poverty alleviation. Sponsored by Mercy Corps.

Humanitarian and International Development NGOs (Blog)

    • Welcome to the international development and humanitarian NGO blog. Postings about issues affecting NGOs that are dedicated to reducing global poverty and providing humanitarian assistance in developing countries. Hauser Center for Non-Profits Organizations, Harvard University

Poverty News Blog

    • News and links about the struggle of the poor around the world. Half the world -- nearly three billion people -- live on less than two dollars a day. Poverty News Blog on Facebook

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  • Created by: Prof. William Joseph*
  • Created: January 2009
  • Last Modified: March 2009
  • Expires: December 31, 2009
  • *Thanks to my students for suggestions for links to add & ways to improve the site.