Knowledge, Evidence and Learning for Development (K4D)

start date
1 October 2016
end date
30 September 2021

The Knowledge, Evidence and Learning for Development Programme (K4D) is a five-year programme running to September 2021 to support the use of learning and evidence to improve the impact of development policy and programmes. It is funded by UK aid and is designed to assist the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and other UK government departments and partners to be innovative and responsive to rapidly changing and complex development challenges.

K4D is delivered by a consortium of leading UK-based knowledge institutions led by the Institute of Development Studies, along with University of Birmingham International Development Department, University of Leeds Nuffield Centre for International Health and Development, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, University of Manchester Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute, Education Development Trust, and Itad. K4D has 25 permanent staff, including researchers, project and MEL specialists. The consortium also benefits from a network of other institutions and experts to create a broad knowledge pool covering all areas of international development.    

Our services

The programme provides a Research Helpdesk for rapid response and complex emerging issues reports, facilitated Learning Journeys, and Learning Products to enhance learning and uptake. We offer a range of evidence and learning services, from standalone rapid research reports produced over a six day period, to year-long interdisciplinary, multi-stakeholder learning activities supported by evidence syntheses and multimedia products.  

Although our services are commissioned by FCDO in response to demand within FCDO and other UK Government departments, we publish the majority of reports and learning products as part of our commitment to increasing learning in the public realm.  

All of our published reports are available on the K4D OpenDocs page and public videos are available on our YouTube channel. You can also view public learning products through individual Learning Journey pages or the Learning Products page.  

COVID-19 Resource Hub

K4D has recently created a dedicated COVID-19 Resource Hub to bring together learning across FCDO and the UK Government to support their fight against COVID-19 and its consequences.

News and Opinion

IDS and partner staff often write news and opinion pieces on publications, learning events or significant events in the media. You can find a list of the latest news and opinion pieces below.

Civil servants can develop ‘deep expertise’, but need the right learning environment
Peter Taylor, Director of Research
Paul Knipe, Research and Learning Programme Manager
8 September 2020

Contact us

E: [email protected] 
T: 01273 915788 

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Jim Woodhill

Honorary Associate

Image of Joanna Howard
Joanna Howard

Research Fellow and Cluster Leader

Image of Marina Apgar
Marina Apgar

Research Fellow

Image of Paul Knipe
Paul Knipe

Research and Learning Programme Manager



K4D Learning Journey on Tax and Gender

K4D provides the UK Department for International Development with facilitated learning activities to explore and respond to complex, interdisciplinary development issues of strategic importance to policy, programming and organisational learning.


K4D Learning Journey on Civil Society

This Learning Journey aimed to establish a more effective approach to two-way learning with the civil society sector in order to share and develop wider FCDO (then DFID) policy and programmes. It therefore responded to internal policy directives, the objectives of the SDGs, the Commonwealth...


K4D Prosperity Fund COVID-19 Evidence and Learning Initiative

This Evidence and Learning Initiative is a cooperation with the Prosperity Fund (PF). It helps to ensure that in the current context of COVID-19, changes to the existing PF portfolio (and investments in new ones) are informed by and contribute to the evidence base on how the pandemic is directly...

Recent work


Humanitarian Evidence Summaries

K4D is publishing these monthly Humanitarian Evidence Summaries to signpost the FCDO and other UK government departments to the latest relevant evidence and discourse on humanitarian response to inform and support their response. The scope of the Humanitarian Evidence Summary includes emerging...

8 October 2020

Impact Story

Shaping UK international development policy

The IDS-led Knowledge, Evidence and Learning for Development Programme (K4D) has supported the learning of thousands of UK government staff and global partners to more effectively innovate and respond to rapidly changing and complex development challenges. By fostering a greater understanding of...

30 September 2020


Health financing priorities in the time of Covid-19?

​​​​​​​This learning session, held on the 12th October, was designed to meet the needs of health advisers, the wider health network and those from other cadres with an interest in health. It was delivered as part of the Health Systems Strengthening Learning Journey, which aims to...

25 September 2020