Virtual Library

This WWW Virtual Library: International Affairs Resources is a frequently updated Internet directory of over 2000 annotated links to high-quality English-language sources of information and analysis in a wide range of international affairs, international relations, international studies, global studies, and global education topics. These sites are carefully selected for their long-term value, favoring those with cost-free, authoritative information and analysis online. Each website is described only in general terms because of the typically rapid changes in details of its contents and features.



Principal Blogs, Portals, Directories, Networks, and Search Engines
Other Sources

Principal Blogs, Portals, Directories, Networks, and Search Engines

Insightful Blogs on International Development Issues-- World Bank Blogs, Blogs at Worldwatch, Center for Global Development, Global Development (The Guardian), The Democracy Report (The Atlantic), Development Channel (Council on Foreign Relations), Democracy Lab (Foreign Policy), Policy and Practice (Oxfam), Ideas for Development (French Development Agency), Opinion (Overseas Development Institute, UK), Development Horizons (International Food Policy Research Institute), Global Development: Views from the Center (Center for Global Development), Development and Cooperation (Engagement Global)

Development Experience Clearinghouse-- From the U.S. Agency for International Development, which bills the site as "the largest online resource for USAID-funded technical and project materials... [with] nearly 200,000 items available for review or download." Also much information on U.S. foreign aid itself.

Development Gateway-- A major portal on development, with excellent general and country information, resources, and tools, designed for scholars and practitioners in specific sectors of developmental activity. Much information and analysis available in several categories. Try AidData for "an easy-to-use, comprehensive, and timely resource describing the universe of development finance project-by-project, including all grants and loans committed by all major bilateral and multilateral aid donors."

Directory of Development Organizations-- Comprehensive reference for development practitioners, researchers, donors, and policymakers interested in enterprise development and (non-) financial markets, particularly in developing countries. Lists thousands of individual contacts in organizations which offer support, information, and advice to the enterprise sectors in developing  countries, by region and category.

European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes' Research Monitor-- Posts and links to online "research-related information products (research papers, working papers, discussion papers, conference papers, studies, policy briefings, peer-reviewed journals and books)" about international development. "The databases of the EADI Research website contain the collected resources of all our over 140 member institutes all over Europe."

Institute of Development Studies-- From the University of Sussex, England, one of the world's leading sources for research, teaching and information on international development, offering a broad and excellent range of information systems and services. Note the excellent free IDS website guide in PDF, "A Good Place  to Start - The IDS Knowledge Services guide to finding development information online."
The components of IDS include:

1.  British Library for Development Studies, an online catalogue of Europe's largest library on international development

2.  Eldis, with the slogan "Sharing the best in development policy, practice and research," is a superlative directory and gateway to electronic information resources on development issues, with subject guides and dossiers, regional and country profiles, news feeds, e-mail bulletins and newsletters, and a database of thousands of papers online at its site or linked. Of special interest is the Eldis Google development websearch limited area search engine, which "enables you to search the full content of over 4000 development focused websites, as selected by Eldis editors." Also note the Resource Guides and Topics and What's New sections.

3.  BRIDGE, an information and analysis service on development and gender
4.  Governance and Social Development Resource Centre aims to help reduce poverty by informing policymaking and enhancing professional knowledge in relation to governance, conflict, and social development. Note especially the topic guides and the document library, "an up to date collection of the most credible publications available on governance, conflict, and social development issues."

Karsten Weitzenegger Consulting-- Excellent website is "primarily a resource for the global learning community of professionals active in international development cooperation in more than 80 countries." Huge amount of development resources and leads, including via social media networks.

Open Knowledge Hub-- "Collaborative 'Open Data' platform for sharing digital content about development that aims to improve the supply and accessibility of content that supports evidence-informed policy making and practice by development actors. A key aspect of the hub’s design is to raise the profile of diverse perspectives on development, paying particular attention to research content from developing countries."

Peace and Collaborative Development Network-- "Free professional networking site that works to foster dialogue and sharing of resources in international development, conflict resolution, gender mainstreaming, human rights, social entrepreneurship and related fields." Posts "fellowship/scholarship opportunities, information about relevant academic programs, training opportunities, news about new publications... questions about new or ongoing research projects, discussion of conflict regions, videos and photos, and more."

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Other Sources

Bank Information Center-- An "independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization that provides information and strategic support to NGOs and social movements throughout the world on the projects, policies and practices of the World Bank and other Multilateral Development Banks." Much practical information, plus links.

The Broker-- From the UK, "an independent platform and online magazine on globalization and development, bringing together cutting-edge knowledge and expert opinions from researchers, policymakers and practitioners... [and acting] as an intermediary between knowledge networks, ‘brokering’ global development knowledge to inform practitioners and provide new and integrated perspectives on current global policy issues."

Brooks World Poverty Institute-- "At the University of Manchester... an international centre of excellence established to create and share knowledge to end poverty, in both North and South, and to shape policies that deliver real gains for people in poverty." Posts Institute studies on the topic.

Center for Global Development-- Research institute "dedicated to reducing global poverty and inequality through policy-oriented research and active engagement on development issues with the policy community and the public." Site offers working papers, policy briefs, articles, opinion pieces, data sources, news and commentary, the Commitment to Development Index, and more.

Center for International Development-- At Harvard University, "a university-wide center that works to advance the understanding of development challenges and offer viable solutions to problems of global poverty... focusing on resolving the dilemmas of public policy associated with generating stable, shared, and sustainable prosperity in developing countries." Posts many varied studies on this topic.

Change Readiness Index-- From KPMG, in collaboration with Oxford Economics, "an index which assesses the ability of 90 countries (developed and developing) to manage change and cultivate the resulting opportunity." Features "in-depth country profiles including specific strengths and opportunities, country, region and income level comparisons, and full rankings list for the overall CRI and the three pillars (Enterprise Capability, Government Capability, and People & Civil Society Capability)." Full report available in PDF.

Cities Alliance-- "Global coalition of cities and their development partners committed to scaling up successful approaches to poverty reduction," sponsored by the World Bank and other organizations. Offers news items, newsletter, annual report, analytical publications, discussions of best practices, and city evaluation and action strategies.

Consortium for Research on Educational Access, Transitions and Equity-- Co-ordinated from the Centre for International Education, University of Sussex "to develop and encourage the application of knowledge to improve access to basic education... [with] a programme of research focused on countries in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa to analyse policy and practice designed to reduce exclusion." Offers reports, information, bibliographic database, and more. Note especially the CREATE Gateway that "provides links to resources related to access issues in education."

Country Indicators for Foreign Policy--  High-quality project between Carleton University and the Canadian government to develop "a number of wide-ranging tools that encompass, among other things, the monitoring, forecasting, and evaluation of failed and fragile states, as well as the assessment of supporting policies intended to address the development, security, and economic challenges they represent." Site posts Governance and Democracy Handbook, data, and many insightful reports and methodologies relevant to governance and democracy processes, conflict risk assessment, and fragile and failed states.

Demographic and Health Surveys Program (DHS)-- "Has provided technical assistance to more than 300 surveys in over 90 countries, advancing global understanding of health and population trends in developing countries.... to improve and institutionalize the collection and use of data by host countries for program monitoring and evaluation and for policy development decisions." Posts a large publications database, country and topical data, and data from the surveys, with several user-generated online comparison facilities.

Department for International Development-- "The part of the UK Government that manages Britain's aid to poor countries and works to get rid of extreme poverty." Posts news, country profiles, case studies, research reports.

Development Executive Group (Devex)-- Social enterprise providing free recruiting services and business information for the international development community, with a network of international development professionals, development news, career advice, business advice, and project notices from donor agencies.

Developmental Leadership Program-- Joint effort supported by the Australian government and "government, academic and civil society partners from around the world to explore the role of human agency in the processes of development [and] address the policy, strategic and operational implications of 'thinking and working politically'." Posts studies on the role of leadership in development in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and the Pacific.

Fragile States Index-- From the Fund for Peace, an annual ranking and global map of the countries of the world, according to the degrees of state effectiveness and weaknesses-- "a critical tool in highlighting not only the normal pressures that all states experience, but also in identifying when those pressures are pushing a state towards the brink of failure." Includes methodology, data, country and global analysis, trends, and past rankings.

Freedom House-- Many online studies ranking countries on measures of freedom (including press freedom), informative backgrounders, and other publications are offered by this nonprofit, nonpartisan U.S. organization dedicated to promoting democracy around the world. Note especially their extensive yearly online report Freedom in the World.

Gapminder-- "Non-profit venture for development and provision of free software that visualise human development... in collaboration with universities, UN organisations, public agencies and non-governmental organisations." Fine site features free software, videos, data, and interactive moving graphics to visualize facts, data, and trends in development measures.

Global Age Watch Index-- "Ranks countries by how well their aging populations are faring. It is based on four domains that are key enablers of older people's well-being: income, health, employment and education, and enabling environment." Also includes "report cards" by countries, topical reports, data, blogs, and the Index Insight Report.

Global Initiative on Civil Society and Conflict-- From the University of South Florida, "an institute that focuses on sociocultural and human dynamics research in areas of political instability as well as global identity politics, race, class, and gender issues as they relate to civil society." Posts studies on that topic, as well as the Citizenship Index and the Tribalism Index.

Global Innovation Index-- From the World Intellectual Property Organization, INSEAD, and Cornell University, "a leading reference on innovation and a valuable bench-marking tool for decision-makers... provides an annual ranking of the innovation capabilities and performance of economies around the world."

Global Integrity-- "Generates, synthesizes, and disseminates credible, comprehensive and timely information on governance and corruption trends around the world... Our information is meant to serve simultaneously as a roadmap for engaged citizens, a reform checklist for policymakers, and a guide to the business climate for investors." Posts much insightful data and analysis. Note especially the Global Integrity Report.

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."  From the Center for International Earth Science Information Network of Columbia University. Site posts data sets, maps/atlas of poverty, studies, project methods, and more.

Hunger and Nutrition Commitment Index-- From the UK's Institute of Development Studies, "ranks governments on their political commitment to tackling hunger and undernutrition. The index was created to provide greater transparency and public accountability by measuring what actions governments take, and what they fail to do, in addressing hunger and undernutrition." Also see the HANCI Report.

Indices of Social Development-- From the International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, with World Bank support, "an innovative database, which will open new areas of research on social development, comparing various dimensions within countries, and their impact on other aspects of development." Aims to show "weaknesses and strengths across countries, as well as the links between social development and other development outcomes." Presents downloadable data and charts on six main indicators for many countries since 1990.

Innovations in Civic Participation-- "Works around the world to strengthen and develop policies and programs that focus on applying [youth] service as a solution to a wide range of social issues." Site posts information, analyses, and resources about and for youth service and civic engagement, especially in new democracies.

Inter-American Development Bank-- Publications and information on varied developmental issues in Latin America and the Caribbean are available from this intergovernmental organization.

International Center for Research on Women-- "Works to make women in developing countries an integral part of alleviating global poverty... to ensure that global development programs and policies help improve the lives of women and girls around the world." Posts a library of thousands of "reports, policy briefs, toolkits and position papers on a range of topics for researchers, policymakers, program implementers and others."

International Development Research Centre-- A "public corporation created by the Canadian government to help communities in the developing world find solutions to social, economic, and environmental problems through research." This site provides full-text publications, research databases, project information, funding opportunities, and links.

International Finance Cooporation-- Part of the World Bank Group, IFC is "the largest multilateral source of loan and equity financing for private sector projects in the developing world," with special interest in sustainable private sector development. The site posts many papers and reports on global and regional aspects of sustainable private sector development.

International Food Policy Research Institute-- "Seeks sustainable solutions for ending hunger and poverty... one of 15 centers supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, an alliance of 64 governments, private foundations, and international and regional organizations." Posts policy briefs, research manuscripts, and the annual Global Hunger Index.

International Institute for Environment and Development-- Aims "to promote sustainable patterns of world development through collaborative research, policy studies, networking and knowledge dissemination," especially on major global issues. Many reports, policy and issue papers, and newsletters available free in PDF format.

International Monetary Fund-- The IMF oversees a wide range of international economic and financial issues. At the eLibrary, you can "find in-depth, independent analysis on the financial crisis, development, macroeconomics, poverty reduction, trade, globalization, and much more."  Numerous publications on economic and financial issues, including country information and World Economic Outlook Reports, are available and searchable online. The Data Mapper presents World Economic Outlook data in map, graphic, and bubble chart form, such as GDP, inflation, and current account balance, from 1980 to the present, plus five-year projections. The Financial Soundness Indicators database is "aimed at supporting macroprudential analysis—the surveillance and assessment of the strengths and vulnerabilities of financial systems." There is a video archive. Also see the quarterly journal Finance and Development.

International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth-- "Supported by the Poverty Practice, Bureau for Development Policy, UNDP and the Government of Brazil... to facilitate South-South learning in development solutions by fostering policy dialogue; carrying out policy-oriented research; as well as conducting training and evaluation." Posts working papers, policy research briefs, issues of Poverty In Focus magazine, one pagers and country studies.

Legatum Prosperity Index-- National and global rankings and analysis "using a holistic definition of prosperity to include both material wealth and quality of life. Rather than replicating other measurements that rank countries by their actual levels of wealth, life satisfaction, or development, the Prosperity Index produces rankings based on the foundations of prosperity. These are the factors that help drive economic growth and produce happy citizens in a given country." Also check the various other programs and publications that this Institute has about development.

National Endowment for Democracy-- Private, nonprofit U.S. organization created in 1983 to strengthen democratic institutions around the world through nongovernmental efforts. 
In addition to other NED publications on-site, the Journal of Democracy posts some articles online.

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development-- The international organization of the industrialized, market-economy countries, to exchange information and harmonize policy to maximize economic growth within member countries and assist non-member countries to develop more rapidly. OECD Data is posted online. The Publishing section is a good place to start searching for publications, as are the Library and the Working Papers Series. OECD resources focusing on a particular country (OECD member or not) can be found in the Countries section. The very useful yearly OECD Factbook is "an essential tool providing a global overview of world economic, social and environmental trends." Read the online version of the OECD Observer magazine for a topical approach to the latest interests of OECD research. The Regional Well-Being: A Closer Measure of Life site "allows you to measure well-being in your region and compare it with 362 other OECD regions based on nine topics central to the quality of our lives."

Overseas Development Institute-- "Britain's leading independent think tank on international development and humanitarian issues. Our mission is to inspire and inform policy and practice which lead to the reduction of poverty, the alleviation of suffering and the achievement of sustainable livelihoods in developing countries." Posts many reports, discussion papers, briefings, toolkits, topical resource libraries, and so on.

Oxfam's Policy, Practice, and Research-- Thousands of free Oxfam publications on development: "training manuals, research reports and policy briefs – based on our 70 years in the field, as well as programme overviews, staff profiles and our practitioner blog."

Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative-- From Oxford University, posts many studies resultant from its programs "to build and advance a more systematic methodological and economic framework for reducing multidimensional poverty, grounded in people’s experiences and values," through "broadening poverty measurement, improving data on poverty, building capacity, and impacting policy." Note especially the thorough Global Multidimensional Poverty Index.

Report on the World Social Situation-- Biennial report from the Division for Social Policy and Development of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations, "contributing to the identification of emerging social trends of international concern and to the analysis of relationships among major development issues which have both international and national dimensions." Full current report and past ones are available online.

SciDev.Net-- Science and Development Network, "a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to providing reliable and authoritative information about science and technology for the developing world... we give policymakers, researchers, the media and civil society information and a platform to explore how science and technology can reduce poverty, improve health and raise standards of living around the world."

Social Progress Imperative-- An attempt "to advance global human wellbeing, by combining national social performance and capacity indicators with solutions-oriented outreach to sector leaders, and grassroots champions, who together can effect large-scale change." Numerous publications and videos, including the key Social Progress Index, which uses over 50 indicators to measure "the extent to which countries provide for the social and environmental needs of their citizens."

Social Watch-- "International network informed by national citizens' groups aiming at following up the fulfillment of the internationally agreed commitments on poverty eradication and equality. These national groups report, through the national Social Watch Report[s], on the progress - or regression- towards these commitments and goals." Posts the annual Social Watch Report, Global Interactive Map, Gender Equity Index, and many publications and occasional papers.

South Centre-- An intergovernmental organization of  developing countries based in Geneva, Switzerland, dedicated to providing policy analysis support for equitable development for the global South, and greater South-South co-operation in promotion of common interests. Policy papers, studies, and newsletter online.

Third World Network-- Reports and angles on development issues from the perspectives of the developing countries, from an independent non-profit international network of organizations and individuals involved in issues relating to development, the Third World, and North-South issues. Numerous publications online and links to others off-site.

Transparency International-- "The global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption... to create change towards a world free of corruption... by building momentum for the anti-corruption movement, raising awareness and diminishing apathy and tolerance of corruption, as well as devising and implementing practical actions to address it." TI's many excellent online corruption surveys, indices, working papers, and reports analyze and rank countries "in terms of the degree to which they are perceived to be the homes of... public officials who abuse their office for personal gain."

UN Women-- The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women's site describes the entity's work, and that of others, to promote women's empowerment and gender equality. Posts news and online publications on women's issues around the world, including the biennial Progress of the World's Women and the World Survey on the Role of Women in Development.

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)-- This U.N. agency "protects children and their rights by providing services and supplies and by helping shape policy agendas and budgets in the best interests of children." UNICEF compiles and publishes information on the situation of children, performance of countries in caring for children, protection of children's rights, and its programs for children. Many publications are online about development as it affects children, such as the annual The State of the World's Children.

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development-- "UNCTAD is the principal organ of the United Nations General Assembly dealing with trade, investment and development issues." Site posts major development studies in summary or full-text, basic documents, and newsletters. Check out the many UNCTAD program subsites.

United Nations Development Programme-- Promotes sustainable human development by assisting countries to build their capacity to design and carry out development programs. Online reports and statistics are available in great quantity. See the annual Human Development Report, an excellent comprehensive guide to global human development, with links to regional and country HDI reports and to other analytical material. The Democratic Governance section, with publications on democratic governance, is based on UNDP's efforts to "bring people together within nations and around the world, fostering partnerships and sharing ways to promote participation, accountability and effectiveness at all levels."

United Nations Research Institute for Social Development-- UNRISD attempts to provide governments, development agencies, grassroots organizations, and scholars with a better understanding of how development policies and processes of economic, social, and environmental change affect different social groups. Online reports and forum.

U.N. Women Watch-- Women Watch is a gateway to U.N. information and data on women worldwide and a forum on global women's issues, to provide up to date information on the U.N.'s work on behalf of the women of the world, track the global agenda for improving the status of women, and constitute an electronic space for exchange of information and ideas on women's issues.

U.S. Agency for International Development-- Extensive development information, reports, data, and news from AID, the "lead U.S. Government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential."

Varieties of Democracy-- "New approach to conceptualizing and measuring  democracy... collaboration among more than 50 scholars worldwide which is co-hosted by the Department of Political Science at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden; and the Kellogg Institute at the University of Notre Dame, USA." Aims to "provide a full set of indices for each [of multiple] conception[s] and component[s]" relative to types of democracy, history of democratic processes since 1900, country data, etc., and to address major policy and measurement questions.

World Bank Group sources:

             This ultrarich megasite contains texts, statistics, and images of thousands of World Bank Reports on development. The Open Knowledge Repository serves to "increase access to information at the World Bank and to make its research as widely available as possible." The News Page is a helpful stop. The eLibrary facilitates finding and accessing World Bank publications and knowledge. Good access points for economic research data and reports online are the Data, Research and Outlook, and Documents and Reports pages. Note the World Bank Data Catalog, "a listing of available World Bank datasets, including databases, pre-formatted tables, reports, and other resources," such as social, governance, financial, economic, and climate statistics, data, and reports. The Countries and Economies page presents time-series tables of key indicators by country. Also see the data and analysis available at the Countries page. The Atlas of Global Development presents development data clearly with maps, graphs, and analysis. The annual World Development Indicators is "compiled from officially-recognized international sources. It presents the most current and accurate global development data available, and includes national, regional and global estimates." The Indicators Databank has hundreds of indicators from the World Development Indicators data set, covering over 200 countries from 1960 to date. Also see the Topics page for World Bank reports by topic. The World Bank YouTube channel posts videos on development topics.

            The JOLIS Library Catalog allows you to search the joint library holdings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund, the publications of these organizations, and related resources.

            The World Bank Annual Report is online. The Complete World Development Report Online section allows access to the full series of these reports from the World Bank on major development issues (since 1978). Also consult World Development Indicators, "the World Bank's premier annual compilation of data about development." The Poverty section provides a very useful and large directory for World Bank reports and data on poverty around the world. The Gender site highlights projects, programs, publications, policy, news, and events concerning women's issues. Gender Equality Data and Statistics is "a one-stop shop for gender information, catering to a wide range of users and providing data from a variety of sources," by country and category. The Worldwide Governance Indicators project reports and analyzes aggregate and individual governance indicators on six dimensions of governance for 215 economies since 1996.

            The World Bank Group's Archives Holdings website "is a state-of-the-art platform, which maximizes the public’s online access to a vast amount of original primary source material in the custody of the Archives."

World Resources Institute-- A policy research center striving to address how societies can meet basic human needs and promote economic growth without undermining natural resources and environmental integrity. This site posts a large number of full-text studies, maps, data, and other resources. Note the World Resources Report.

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This section of the WWW Virtual Library system was created, and is edited and maintained, by Dr. Wayne A.Selcher, Professor of International Studies Emeritus, Department of Political Science, Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, PA 17022-2288  U.S.A., as a volunteer and non-profit public service. This website copyright 1997-present by Wayne A. Selcher. E-mail: