News story

DFID research: The 46.7 billion dollar question

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium (SLRC) explores the evidence on social protection and basic services in conflict-affected situations.

This month, the Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium(SLRC) explores the evidence on social protection and basic services in conflict-affected situations, drawing on research carried out during the Consortium’s inception year.

Three outputs are now available:

The full working paper - “Social Protection and Basic Services in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Situations” - reviews the evidence on social protection and basic services (health, education, water). The paper seeks to establish what we do and do not know about provision, delivery and access, draw out lessons and common themes, and identify areas for potential future research.

The working paper is accompanied by a 4 page briefing paper,  ”Social protection and basic services in conflict-affected situations: what do we know?”. Summarising the main findings of the review, the paper finds that:

  1. Evidence on social protection and service delivery in conflict-affected situations is fairly limited and of variable quality
  2. The claim that there is a causal link between service delivery and state-building is frequently made but rarely evidenced
  3. Gaps remain in the guidance about how to deliver basic services in volatile, low capacity situations, particularly in relation to comparative costs and programme effectiveness.

And finally, in an ODI blog post - “Service delivery and state-building: the 46.7 billion dollar question?” - SLRC’s Research Director, Rachel Slater, alongside Samuel Carpenter, questions the frequently asserted but rarely evidenced claim that improved service delivery in conflict-affected situations leads to positive state-building outcomes.

The Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium (SLRC) produced a series of country working papers which review the evidence on livelihoods, basic services and social protection in Afghanistan, Nepal, north-western Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Sudan, Northern Uganda and Karamoja, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and identify key knowledge gaps. See Shaping future research for more details.