Knowledge, Evidence and Learning for Development (K4D)

start date
1 October 2016
end date
30 September 2021

K4D supports 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 Department for International Development (DFID) and other partners to be innovative and responsive to rapidly changing and complex development challenges.

K4D integrates organisational learning processes with the use of evidence from research. It provides:

  • A strategic learning approach which incorporates face-to-face and virtual learning to explore emerging development challenges, tackle common problems or questions, and build individual and team professional expertise.
  • A tailored evidence support service through a rapid response research helpdesk and in-depth emerging issues reports, giving quick access to evidence on policy and programme questions
  • Learning journeys that explore complex issues that are often cross-sectorial and interdisciplinary, bringing together development professionals, academics and other experts
  • Innovative learning products using a range of media and approaches to enhance learning and knowledge uptake.

K4D is run by a consortium of seven leading knowledge institutions led by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS).


Jim Woodhill

Honorary Associate

Image of Joanna Howard
Joanna Howard

Research Fellow and Cluster Leader

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Marina Apgar

Research Fellow

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Paul Knipe

Research and Learning Programme Manager



K4D Learning Journeys

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 Helpdesk Service

The Helpdesk service provides the UK Department for International Development (DFID) with quick access to evidence and analysis on development policy and programme questions through rapid response or more substantive emerging issues reports, from our team of qualified researchers.



GSDRC provide high quality, timely knowledge products to support international development planning, policymaking and other activities area. This includes a document library, a research helpdesk and email bulletins.

Recent work


Education and Stability: Synopsis Paper

It is estimated that 80% of the world’s poorest people will live in fragile and conflict-affected states (FCAS) by 2030. The UK Department for International Development (DFID) has committed to ensuring that it not only spends 50% of its Official Development Assistance (ODA) in FCAS, but that...

17 December 2019


Guidance Note on Scaling Up Social Norm Change

K4D Emerging Issues Report

This is a guidance note on how DFID can support the scale-up of inclusive approaches to complex social change for marginalised and vulnerable groups. It looks at how to scale up approaches to shift social norms that underpin behaviours preventing particularly women, girls and people with...

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Becky Carter & 2 others

25 November 2019


Social Protection Topic Guide

Emerging Issues Report 18

This guide provides an overview of social protection concepts, approaches, issues, debates and evidence, and a selection of key references and signposting to further resources. It primarily focuses on longer-term developmental social protection rather than humanitarian responses, and on...

Image of Becky Carter
Becky Carter & 3 others

1 October 2019