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Our analytical approach

We combine a rigorous evidence-based approach with our practical experience to produce leading thinking that supports the design and shaping of policies which will enable change where it’s needed most.

Academic rigour is in our DNA, and it is focused on real-life application and delivery. We started in 1979 as a team in the Food Studies Group at the University of Oxford. At that time, we focused on addressing agricultural and food security problems in Africa. Today, we work across the globe, supporting governments in over 100 countries in a wide range of sectors. But our heritage is not forgotten; we continue to be defined by the rigorous analytical skills that we started life with. We build the evidence to inform choices, properly backing up our research and combining it with practical know-how.

Combining thinking with doing

Bridging the gap between evidence and practice is what makes us a uniquely valued partner. We are both thinkers and doers, drawing on our collective experience, across a wide range of countries and sectors, to offer the very best evidence-based advice to bring about lasting, positive change. We ensure that we ask the right questions and tailor our services to what is most needed. We are dedicated to maintaining the high quality of our work, and combine targeted insights with delivery, following up with robust monitoring and evaluation.

Sharing our learnings and insights

We plan our work for the long term, learn from real-world effects, and build capacity as we go along. We reflect, we learn, we act; we consider these parts of our work to be inseparable. We share the lessons of our work in the projects that we deliver, and also through the research and thinking that we publish, whether in leading academic journals or through our blog and our publications.

Our work is deeply rooted in academic evidence and engaging with the latest research and ideas to open up new areas of development. As we continue to explore ways in which we can support governments to achieve growth and poverty reduction through public policy reform, we ensure that all our work across the policy cycle leads to meaningful and sustainable impact.

The more we are able to strengthen our thinking, build our own capacity, and deepen our expertise, the greater the impact we hope to have. We continue to apply the steering principles of academic rigour and partnership that have always been at the heart of our work and we place impact at the centre of all we do.