Research themes


The Centre for International Development aims to be a global leader in international development research

What we do

The Centre’s core areas of expertise include:

  • Statistical and econometric data analysis
  • Survey design and analysis
  • Economic policy advice
  • Program/project evaluation
  • Impact assessment

Centre researchers are experts at identifying existing knowledge gaps, formulating testable hypotheses, theories of change and empirical techniques.

The Centre designs studies that frame the analysis within the broader grey and academic literatures. In so doing, the Centre has not only contributed to policy formulation, but also has enhanced RMIT’s reputation within formal academic circles.

The Centre’s partnerships with NGOs across the Asia Pacific region and beyond have allowed it to also gain expertise in translating research to various audiences and producing both technical and non-technical reports. The latter is important not only for dissemination purposes, but also to provide key stakeholders with information about how their lives changed because of interventions. As such, the team has produced pamphlets, videos, summaries and non-technical presentations geared toward informing affected communities.

Foreign aid

In 2019, OECD member countries provided over USD 150 billion in foreign aid to promote development globally.

However, COVID-19 is likely to reduce foreign aid and impact on the budgets of NGOs. CID researchers examine the allocation and impact of this assistance at both a macroeconomic level as well as the individual and household level impacts of aid provided by NGOs.

Featured projects

SDG alignment

  • GOAL 1: No Poverty
  • GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being
  • GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality
  • GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions

Our people

Professor Simon Feeny

Theme leader

Dr Sefa Awaworyi Churchill

Professor Alberto Posso

Publications

  • Trinh, T-A., Feeny, S. and A. Posso (2021), Political Connections and Post-Disaster Assistance in Rural Vietnam, European Journal of Political Economy, doi.org/10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2021.102097.
  • Jennings, M., Clarke, M., Feeny, S., Westhorp, G. and C. Donohue (2020), A Potent Fuel? Faith Identity and Development in World Vision Community Programming, Journal of International Development, Vol.33, No.1, pp. 70-85.
  • Feeny, S., Hansen, P., Knowles, S., McGillivray, M. and F. Ombler (2019), Donor Motives, Public Preferences and the Allocation of UK Foreign Aid: A Discrete Choice Experiment Approach, Review of World Economics, Vol.55, No.3, pp.511-537.
  • Clarke, M. and S. Feeny (2019), The Dragon versus the Kangaroo: Perceptions of Chinese and Australian Influence and Development Assistance in Vanuatu, Australian Journal of Political Science, Vol.4, No.3, pp.334-354.
  • Feeny, S., Posso, A., McDonald, L., Troung, C., Tung, S. (2018), Beyond Monetary Benefits of Restoring Sight in Vietnam: Evaluating Well-being Gains from Cataract Surgery, PLOS One, February 2018.
  • Feeny, S. and V. Vuong (2017), Explaining Aid Project and Program Success: Findings from Asian Development Bank Interventions, World Development, Vol.90, pp.329-343.
  • Donahue, J., Eccles, K., Feeny, S., McDonald, L. and A. Posso (2017), Gendered Impacts of Global Economic Shocks: Finds from Household in Melanesia, Pacific Studies, Vol.4, No.3, pp.329-356.
  •  Posso, A. and S. Feeny (2016), Beyond Enrolments: The Determinants of Primary School Attendance in Melanesia, Journal of the Asia-Pacific Economy, Vol.21, No.4, pp.531-48.
  • Feeny, S and T.R L. Fry (2014), How Sustainable is the Macroeconomic Impact of Foreign Aid?, Journal of Policy Modeling, Vol.36, No.6, pp.1066-1081.
  • Clarke, M., Donnelly, J. and S. Feeny (2014), Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Interventions in the Pacific: Defining, Assessing and Improving ‘Sustainability’, European Journal of Development Research, Vol.26, No.5, pp.692-706.
  • Feeny, S, Awaworyi-Churchill, S. and A. Posso (2020), "International Development Targets and Small Island Developing States" in John L Roberts, Shyam Nath, Satya Paul and Yeti Nisha Madhoo (eds.) Shaping the Future of Small Islands: Roadmap for Sustainable Development, Palgrave MacMillan, Singapore.
  • Churchill, S., Elkins, M. and S. Feeny (2020), "Did Social Protection Assist with Progress Towards the Millennium Development Goals?" in Sefa Churchill (ed.) Moving from the Millennium to the Sustainable Development Goals: Lessons and Recommendations, Palgrave MacMillan.
  • Munyanyi, M. E., Awaworyi Churchill, S., and Skali, A. (2020) “Foreign Aid and Development Goals: Revisiting the Evidence” in S Awaworyi Churchill (ed.), “Moving from the Millennium to the Sustainable Development Goals: Lessons and Recommendations”, Palgrave MacMillan: Singapore.
  • Feeny, S. and M. McGillivray (2016), Aid and Global Poverty, in Brady, D. and L. Burton (eds.) Oxford Handbook of the Social Science of Poverty, Oxford University Press, New York.
  • McGillivray, M. and S. Feeny (2015), Aid, Growth, Policies and Fragility, in M.Arvin (ed.) Handbook on the Economics of Foreign Aid, Edward Elgar, UK.
  • Feeny, S. and J. Donahue (2014), Scaling-Up Aid: Modes and Modalities in the Pacific, in Ware, A. (ed.), Development in Difficult Sociopolitical Contexts, Palgrave Macmillan, UK.
  • Feeny, S. (2014), The Scope for Formal Social Protection Schemes Melanesia, in Feeny, S.  (ed.) Household Vulnerability and Resilience: Evidence from Melanesia, Ashgate Publishing, UK.

Poverty, vulnerability and resilience theme

Unexpected events can have a huge impact on development. They include political events, health shocks such as COVID-19, economic shocks like the current global recession, and climatic shocks such as storms, floods and droughts.

CID researchers have examined how such shocks impact on human well-being and development, and how individuals, households, societies and government can come up with strategies to help.

Featured projects

Our people

Professor Alberto Posso

Theme leader

Dr Sefa Awaworyi Churchill

Theme leader

Professor Simon Feeny

Dr Meg Elkins

Dr Ankita Mishra

Dr Serene Ho

Publications

  • Trinh, Trong Anh, Simon Feeny, and Alberto Posso (Forthcoming), 'Political Connections and Post-Disaster Assistance in Rural Vietnam' European Journal of Political Economy. [https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0176268021000859]
  • Trinh, Trong Anh, Simon Feeny, and Alberto Posso (Forthcoming), 'The Impact of Natural Disasters on Migration: Findings from Vietnam' Journal of Demographic Economics. [https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-demographic-economics/article/impact-of-natural-disasters-on-migration-findings-from-vietnam/569CE790B3A5B715474E568AF1C05A38].
  • Trong-Anh Trinh, Simon Feeny and Alberto Posso (2021) 'Rainfall shocks and child health: The role of parental mental health' Climate and Development, 13(1), pp. 34-48.  [https://doi.org/10.1080/17565529.2020.1716672]
  • Trinh, Trong Anh, Alberto Posso, and Simon Feeny (2020), ‘Child Labor and Rainfall Deviation: Panel Data Evidence from Rural Vietnam’ The Developing Economies 58(1), pp. 63-76. [https://doi.org/10.1111/deve.12215]
  • Elkins, M.,Farrell, L.,Fry, J. (2020). Investigating the Relationship Between Housing Insecurity and Wellbeing In: Measuring, Understanding and Improving Wellbeing Among Older People, Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore
  • Awaworyi Churchill, S.,Elkins, M.,Feeny, S. (2020). Ethnic Diversity and Progress Towards the Millennium Development Goals In: Moving from the Millennium to the Sustainable Development Goals: Lessons and Recommendations, Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore
  • Elkins, M.,Feeny, S.,Awaworyi Churchill, S. (2020). Did Social Protection Assist with Progress Towards the Millennium Development Goals? In: Moving from the Millennium to the Sustainable Development Goals: Lessons and Recommendations, Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore
  • Mishra, A., & Mishra, V. (2018). Is there a conditional convergence in the per capita incomes of BIMAROU states in India? Economic Modelling, 70, 429-437.
  • Elkins, M.,Feeny, S.,Prentice, D. (2017). Are poverty reduction strategy papers associated with reductions in poverty and improvements in wellbeing? In: Journal of Development Studies, 54, 377 – 393
  • Feeny, Simon, Lachlan McDonald, Alberto Posso, Jaclyn Donahue, and Kate Eccles (2017), ‘Gendered Impacts of Global Economic Shocks: Findings from Household in Melanesia’ Pacific Studies 40(3).
  • Feeny, Simon, Lachlan McDonald and Alberto Posso (2014), 'Are Poor People Less Happy? Findings from Melanesia' World Development 64, 448-459. [http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305750X14001880].
  • Donahue, J., Eccles, K., Feeny, S., McDonald, L. and A. Posso (2017), Gendered Impacts of Global Economic Shocks: Finds from Household in Melanesia, Pacific Studies, Vol.4, No.3, pp.329-356.
  • Posso, A. and S. Feeny (2016), Beyond Enrolments: The Determinants of Primary School Attendance in Melanesia, Journal of the Asia-Pacific Economy, Vol.21, No.4, pp.531-48.
  • Feeny, S. and L. McDonald (2016), Vulnerability to Multidimensional Poverty: Findings from Households in Melanesia, Journal of Development Studies.Vol.52, No.3, pp.447-464.
  • Feeny, S., McDonald, L. and A. Posso (2014), Are Poor People Less Happy?: Evidence from Melanesia, World Development, Vol.64, pp.449-459.
  • Elkins, M. (2014). Embedding the vulnerable in the millennium development goals: Social protection in poverty reduction strategy papers In: Journal of International Development, 26, 853 - 874
  • Feeny, S. (2014) (ed.), Household Vulnerability and Resilience to Economic Shocks: Findings from Melanesia, Ashgate, UK.
  • Feeny, S. and J. Donahue (2014), Scaling-Up Aid: Modes and Modalities in the Pacific, in Ware, A. (ed.), Development in Difficult Sociopolitical Contexts, Palgrave Macmillan, UK.
  • Feeny, S. (2014), The Scope for Formal Social Protection Schemes Melanesia, in Feeny, S.  (ed.) Household Vulnerability and Resilience: Evidence from Melanesia, Ashgate Publishing, UK.
  • Baulch, Bob. 2015 ‘The poverty focus of Swedish bilateral aid: a comparative analysis’, European Journal of Development Research 28(5): 758-775
  • Baulch, Bob and Agnes Quisumbing 2013    ‘Assets and poverty traps in rural Bangladesh’, Journal of Development Studies, 49(7): 898-916
  • Baulch, Bob. 2013 ‘‘Understanding poverty dynamics and economic mobility’, in Shepherd, A. and J. Brunt (eds.) Chronic Poverty: Concepts, Causes and Policy,  Basingstoke: Palgrave-MacMillan
  • Mishra, A. & Ray, R. (2013). Multi-dimensional deprivation in India during and after the reforms: Do the household expenditure and the family health surveys present consistent evidence. Social Indicators Research, 110(2), 791-818.
  • Mishra, A. & Ray, R. (2012).  Multi-dimensional deprivation in the awakening giants: A comparison of China and India on micro data. Journal of Asian Economics, vol. 23, pp. 454-465
  • Mishra, A. & Ray, R. (2011).  Prices, Inequality and Poverty: Methodology and Indian Evidence. Review of Income and Wealth, vol.3, No. 57, 428-448
  • Mishra, A. & Ray, R. (2011).  Do Inequality and Prices Affect Comparisons in Living Standards? The Indian Evidence. Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XLVI, No.3, 39-46

Gender equality and child wellbeing

Our objective is to study factors impeding gender equality and child wellbeing with focus on developing world and offer practical and policy-oriented solution to facilitate these two crucial and often interrelated development objectives.

CID researchers aim to understand the challenges and obstacles in achieving gender equality and child wellbeing in the developing world. We offer evidence based, practical, policy-oriented solutions to overcome long-standing inequalities and promote inclusive and sustainable development outcomes for all.  

Our research focuses on ‘gender gaps’ in labour market outcomes, and women’s empowerment. We delve into all aspects gender inequality including institutional, social, and extraneous factors (such as weather and crime) resulting in suboptimal outcomes and status for women in the society. We develop quantifiable multidimensional statistics to measure gender equity. These statistics serve as methodological tool, assisting policymakers in designing the development policy.  We examine gender bias in fertility behaviour especially in Asian context and the role of gender norms and household perspective fostering this behaviour.

As primary caregivers, improving gender equity in developing countries is often associated with improved conditions for children. However, children experience poverty and vulnerability differently to adults. As such, our research not only aims to uncover the nexus between maternal and child wellbeing, but how to improve the conditions of children. We focus on issues related to education, child labour and health.   

Featured projects

SDG alignment

  • GOAL 1: No Poverty
  • GOAL 2: Zero Hunger
  • GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being
  • GOAL 4: Quality Education
  • GOAL 5: Gender Equality
  • GOAL 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

 

  • GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
  • GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
  • GOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal

Our people

Dr Ankita Mishra

Theme leader

Professor Alberto Posso

Theme leader

Professor Simon Feeny

Dr Sefa Awaworyi Churchill

Publications

  1. Mishra, A., Parasnis, J., Mishra, V (2021). The asymmetric role of crime in women’s and men’s labour force participation: Evidence from India.  Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 188, 933-961 (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jebo.2021.06.015)
  2. Mishra, A., & Parasnis, J. (2021). Husband, sons and fertility gap: Evidence from India.  Journal of Population Research, 38, 71-102 (https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12546-021-09254-4)
  3. Posso, Alberto, Udeni De Silva Perera, and Ankita Mishra (2021), 'Community-level health programs and child labor: Evidence from Ethiopia' Health Economics. [https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hec.4429].
  4. Simon Feeny, Alberto Posso, Ahmed Skali, Amalendu Jyotishi, Shyam Nath and P. K. Viswanathan (2021), 'Child Labor and Psychosocial Wellbeing: Findings from India’ Health Economics 30(4), pp. 876-902. [https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/hec.4224]
  5. Feeny, S., Mishra, A., Trong-Anh, T., Ye, L., & Zhu, A (2021). Early- Life Exposure to Rainfall Shocks and Gender Gaps in Employment: Findings from Vietnam.  Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 183, 533-554 (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jebo.2021.01.016)
  6. Trong-Anh Trinh, Simon Feeny and Alberto Posso (2021) 'Rainfall shocks and child health: The role of parental mental health' Climate and Development, 13(1), pp. 34-48. [https://doi.org/10.1080/17565529.2020.1716672]
  7. Posso, Alberto (ed.) (2020), Child Labor in the Developing World. Palgrave Macmillan: Singapore. [https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9789811531057#aboutBook]
  8. Mishra, A. and Awaworyi Churchill, S. (2020), 'Fertility Gap and Child Nutrition: Evidence from India', in Moving from the Millennium to the Sustainable Development Goals: Lessons and Recommendations, Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore, pp. 77-94 (https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-15-1556-9_5)
  9. Russell, Douglas, Daryl Higgins and Alberto Posso (2020), ‘Preventing child sexual abuse: A systematic review of interventions and their efficacy in developing countries' Child Abuse & Neglect 102, 104395. [https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2020.104395]
  10. Trinh, Trong Anh, Alberto Posso, and Simon Feeny (2020), ‘Child Labor and Rainfall Deviation: Panel Data Evidence from Rural Vietnam’ The Developing Economies 58(1), pp. 63-76. [https://doi.org/10.1111/deve.12215]
  11. Posso, Alberto (2019), 'The health consequences of hazardous and nonhazardous child labor', Review of Development Economics 23(2), pp.619-639. [https://doi.org/10.1111/rode.12571]
  12. Posso, Alberto and Prema-chandra Athukorala (2018), 'Microfinance and child mortality' Applied Economics 50(21), pp. 2313-2324. [http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00036846.2017.1394976]
  13. Mishra, A., Ray, R. & Risse, L. (2018).  A multidimensional dynamic measure of child disadvantage: A methodological tool for policymakers. Social Indicators Research, 139, 1187- 1218. (https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11205-017-1742-x)
  14. Mishra, A., & Parasnis, J. (2017).  Peers and fertility preferences: An empirical investigation of the role of neighbours, religion and education, Social Indicators Research ,134(1), 339-357 (https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11205-016-1431-1)
  15. Zhang, Quanda and Alberto Posso (2017) ‘Microfinance and gender inequality: Cross-country evidence’ Applied Economics Letters 24(20), pp. 1494-1498. [http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13504851.2017.1287851].
  16. Posso, Alberto (2017). ‘Child labour’s effect on long-run earnings: An analysis of cohorts’, Economic Modelling 64, pp. 465–472. [http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S026499931630390X].
  17. Feeny, Simon, Lachlan McDonald, Alberto Posso, Jaclyn Donahue, and Kate Eccles (2017), ‘Gendered Impacts of Global Economic Shocks: Findings from Household in Melanesia’ Pacific Studies 40(3).
  18. Posso, Alberto (2017), ‘Preferential Trade Agreements with labour provisions and child labour: Evidence from Asia Pacific’, Asia-Pacific Development Journal 24(2), pp. 89-111 [http://www.unescap.org/sites/default/files/publications/APD-24-2%20full.pdf].
  19. Gelli, A., Aberman, N. L., Margolies, A., Santacroce, M., Baulch, B., & Chirwa, E. (2017). Lean-Season Food Transfers Affect Children's Diets and Household Food Security: Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment in Malawi. The Journal of nutrition, 147(5), 869–878. (https://doi.org/10.3945/jn.116.246652)
  20.  Posso, Alberto (2016), ‘¿Hay discriminación en contra de las mujeres en el mercado laboral ecuatoriano?’ [‘Is there discrimination against women in the Ecuadorian Labour Market?’] Cuadernos de Economía 39, 175-188. [http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0210026615000655].
  21. Posso, Alberto and Simon Feeny (2016), ‘Beyond Enrolments: The Determinants of Primary School Attendance in Melanesia’ Journal of the Asia Pacific Economy 21(4), 531-548 . [http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13547860.2016.1153205]
  22. Ahmed, Salma, Simon Feeny and Alberto Posso (2016) ‘What firm characteristics determine women's employment in manufacturing? Evidence from Bangladesh’ Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal 35(2), 99-122. [http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/EDI-07-2015-0057]
  23. Posso, Alberto and Simon Feeny (2015), ‘Income, democracy and European colonization’ Applied Economics Letters, 22(15), 1257-1261. [http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13504851.2015.1023932#abstract].
  24. Mishra, A.  (2014). Multidimensional measures of female disempowerment. Social Indicators Research, 119(3), 1393-1410. ( https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-013-0544-z)
  25. Mishra, A.  (2014). Relative income and female autonomy: Evidence from India. Asian Population Studies, 10(1), 96-119. (https://doi.org/10.1080/17441730.2013.876703)
  26. Bob Baulch (2011) The medium-term impact of the primary education stipend in rural Bangladesh. Journal of Development Effectiveness, 3 (2), 243-262 (https://doi.org/10.1080/19439342.2011.570449)

 

Our partners

The CID applies its expertise to real-world problems, working as both researchers and development practitioners. We partner with leading development organisations, advising their practice, programmatic interventions and strategy. With its partners, the CID leads global change toward the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. CID members have worked with:

  • APEC Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
  • APEC Business Advisory Council
  • Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade (ARTNeT)
  • Australian Government – Department of Employment, Skills and Training
  • Australian Government - Department of Affairs and Trade
  • Brac
  • Children First Foundation
  • ERIA Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia
  • Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations
  • German Development Institute
  • Government of India – Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD)
  • Institute for Child Protection Studies
  • International Labour Organisation
  • New Zealand Government's Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • NRMC
  • OXFAM Australia
  • Plan International
  • Sreo Consulting
  • Sustainable Development Solutions Network
  • The Fred Hollows Foundation
  • The Ian Potter Foundation
  • Ministerio de Trabajo y Promoción de Empleo, Perú
  • UN Global Compact – Cities Programme
  • UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti
  • United Nations Economic Commission for Asia Pacific
  • Victoria Responsible Gambling Foundation
  • World Vision International

Centre members have lead projects in South and East Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as Pacific Island countries.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.