Impact and engagement

World connections

Our interdisciplinary research has a real impact on the world. The School’s projects are at the forefront of politics, international development and international relations research — influencing policy and practice on a global scale.

Informing irrigation and agricultural transformation in Tanzania

Over a decade of work in Tanzania has generated a number of investigations into the relationship between water, agricultural livelihoods and HIV/AIDS. This research has informed and influenced policy to better govern competing demands for water irrigation across the region.

Areas of impact include informing the policies and activities of the Government of Tanzania, development agencies, and international/Tanzanian NGOs. Most notably, this work has stimulated approaches to improve local governance so as to better mitigate irrigation and agricultural tensions in Tanzania, thereby improving the livelihoods of Tanzanian farmers.

Improving the UK Department for International Development’s public communications strategy

Better understanding the influence of information on public attitudes towards international conflict, cooperation and development support is the basis of this on-going pioneering research.

Our findings on public attitudes toward development support are being used by the Department for International Development (DfID), so as to transform its communications strategy toward generating better messages for a wider array of audiences.

Public engagement as a core part of parliamentary business

Our research has mapped public engagement development since the beginning of the new millennium and has identified a set of new challenges and recommendations for broadening public engagement within existing parliamentary institutions.

The projects have impacted on the thinking and practices of UK parliamentary officials, namely in relation to digital engagement and the use of e-petitions. It has also become a key reference in the study and implementation of parliamentary public engagement strategies in a number of European states.

Improved pastoralists’ education inclusion in Ethiopia

Our research into pastoralist education draws on a long engagement with education marginalisation of pastoralists across India, Afghanistan, Kenya and Ethiopia.

As part of these efforts, our research is currently shaping education policy in Ethiopia; influencing decision-makers to focus on education provision strategy to help support pastoralist livelihoods and mobility.

Improving social welfare and gender equality in Malawi’s HIV policy

Our research on gender and structural inequalities in Malawian HIV health has directly influenced the Malawi Government’s National Gender and HIV Implementation Plan 2015-2020.

The plan altered understandings about HIV risk and gender, and has been widely shared amongst government officials and NGOs working on gender and HIV in Malawi.

European Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (ECR2P): Influencing international conflict response and governance

The ECR2P coordinates the European R2P Network and maintains active collaborative links with other regional R2P centres, as well as the United Nations Office for Genocide Prevention and R2P.

The Centre has published over 50 R2P-related journal articles and reports, and its members have conducted research and practitioner training sessions with NGOs and policy-makers, which have informed policies on mass atrocity prevention within the United Kingdom, Europe and United Nations. In addition, members of the ECR2P are often called upon to give evidence to special councils and select committees as well as to consult and contribute to the drafting of key global policies.

Evaluating health financing and its effects on health system strengthening

Health and financing systems in southern Africa are increasingly based on performance-based models, in which bonuses are paid for meeting predefined targets. Yet, despite its popularity with development agencies, there is currently no robust analytical data to demonstrate how successful results-based models are in the long term and how they can be used to strengthen overall health systems and service delivery.

In collaboration with UK partners, the Ministry of Health Zimbabwe and the Ministry of Health Mozambique, our research is currently mapping and evaluating the long-term effects of performance-based financing on health systems and identifying the contextual moderators that enhance or prohibit expected outcomes. The preliminary findings of this research have been shared with policy-makers with additional research being co-produced to provide an additional evaluative evidence-base.