International Development Studies - Recommended Sources

Audio Visual Resources

This fantastic resource has captured UK terrestrial TV and radio programmes from 1998 onwards for anyone in UK universities to watch for free. You can create playlists and clips to embed in presentations, as well as putting in requests for recording. Look out for all the useful documentaries. (Not available to anyone outside the UK.)

Key Starters for Essays and Dissertations

A variety of reference works, including dictionaries, which tutors may well prefer to Wikipedia, and it even tells you how to set out a reference to what you find. Try out the 'Mind Map' option to see how your keyword links to others - useful for essay planning and dissertation work (use the arrow next to Basic Search to get to it).

Key facts and statistics for every country in the world, plus very useful, background essays by country experts covering the contemporary history, politics and economics of each country. There are also background essays on international and regional organisations. The statistics are searchable and let you create comparative charts across countries.

Over 240 unlimited access in-depth guides to current and classic research across a range of subject areas. If you can't access something via this site, put the book title into the Portsmouth catalogue instead as we have previously bought some titles via Ebook Central.

Access the full text of books about quantitative and qualitative research methods and many more social science research topics.

Specialist e-resources

This archive contains analysis, research, debates and speeches from the Royal Institute of International Affairs from 1920-2008. Topics covered include the Spanish Civil War, the Cold War, energy security, nuclear disarmament, decolonisation etc. You can also listen to recordings of meetings and speeches as well as seeing the transcript in many cases.


The UK government’s Department for International Development.

A brilliant source containing essays, maps, primary sources and an interactive chronology on the theme of Empire across the last 5 centuries

The leading UK Institute of Development Studies

The IDB has been a leading source of development funding for Latin America and the Caribbean since 1959. The site contains lots of useful information and a data section.

The UK’s leading independent think tank on international development and humanitarian issues. Go to the Publications section for links to thousands of reports on key themes and countries.

The UNDP commissions the annual Human Development Report which focuses the global debate on key development issues.

The United Nations Development Programme

The World Bank comprise two institutions managed by 188 member countries: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA). The IBRD aims to reduce poverty in middle-income and creditworthy poorer countries, while IDA focuses exclusively on the world’s poorest countries. This site contains data and documents useful to IDS students.


High quality data gathered together by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

ECLAC (or CEPAL in Spanish) is one of 5 regional commissions of the United Nations whose aims are to promote the economic and social development of Latin America and the Caribbean. The site's Data and Statistics section is a key, trusted source to look at - in particular, check out the Statistical Yearbook for Latin America and the Caribbean .

The International Development Statistics (IDS) online databases from the OECD cover bilateral, multilateral aid (ODA) and private providers’ aid and other resource flows to developing countries.


A useful place for locating official statistics from regional organisations as well as individual countries.

High quality data gathered together by the United Nations Economic Commission for Asia and the Pacific. The site includes analytical summaries on 32 key topics, such as child health, food security, access to water and sanitation, natural disasters.

Use this site to help gather a large range of statistics, including data on the Millennium Development Goals.

A key source for comparing statistics useful for IDS courses, including targets and monitoring for the Millennium Development Goals.

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Further Information