36 Gordon Square
London WC1H 0PD

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Our Work

New approaches towards international development


LIDC’s mission is to address global development challenges by facilitating cross-sectoral and interdisciplinary collaboration amongst its member Colleges and with partners worldwide. Our vision is a world made more equitable and secure through a reduction in poverty and more sustainable use of resources and evidence-based decision-making. 

What we do

LIDC develops interdisciplinary research, activities and training programmes to address complex international development challenges. Addressing these challenges effectively often requires working across sectors, such as education and health, or between disciplines, such as sociology and economics. With partner institutions in low and middle income countries, LIDC builds initiatives on such subjects as climate change, HIV/ AIDS, migration, and emerging diseases.


1.    Create opportunities and skills for interdisciplinary collaboration amongst academics and postgraduate students and in the broader global development community.

2.    Facilitate development and funding of interdisciplinary research programmes which generate published research outputs of high international significance and impact. 

3.    Facilitate the design and delivery of new learning and training activities which support interdisciplinary approaches to global development challenges.

4.    Improve international development policy and practice by facilitating academic engagement with governments, civil society, the private sector and international organisations.

5.    Build effective and equitable international, interdisciplinary partnerships in research, training and related activities.


LIDC was established in 2007 with a grant of £3.7m from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), and it now has more than 3,000 staff, students and alumni members from its constituent Colleges. 

Working across Colleges

LIDC's member colleges are Birkbeck, UCL Institute of Education, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Royal Veterinary College, SOAS, Queen Mary, University of London and City, University of London. Collectively, these specialist Colleges have a wealth of development-related research and knowledge across a variety of disciplines.

The LIDC member colleges all have strong individual reputations in international development. LIDC brings their strengths together, building new research and training collaborations between Colleges and with partner institutions in support of international development. What makes LIDC distinctive among international development centres is the breadth and depth of its scholarship relevant to international development, and its capacity to integrate research and education across a range of sectors and across the natural, biomedical and social sciences, to address development challenges.


LIDC benefits from many long-standing partnerships between its constituent Colleges and institutions in developing countries. LIDC has forged its own partnerships with the Southern African Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance (SACIDS) as well as with other organisations working in international development or interdisciplinary research.

About 60 international development specialists from LIDC Colleges are also based in the LIDC building and the building is also home to the office of several organizations including Derek Jarman Lab, 3ie- International Initiative for Impact Evaluation, Royal Africal Society, IMMANA, LCIRAH, CEDIL and the Global Panel.