The PRDU conducts research which informs the development of theory and practice in relation to humanitarian aid, peacebuilding and post-war reconstruction. The Unit's research philosophy is premised on the understanding that post-war reconstruction requires a inter-disciplinary, multidimensional problem solving approach to address the complexities of post-war recovery and disaster relief. It emphasizes the importance of fostering strong linkages between academia and practice through the generation of high-quality training and research that is both at the cutting edge of advances in theory and practice.
The Unit's research work focuses on three core areas:
The PRDU has generated £800,000 of research income since 2001 and, in addition, attracts bursaries for both MA and DPhil study. It provides the focus for research collaboration in the Development Studies subject group of the Department of Politics. It has been engaged in collaborative research projects in areas such as: 'Women, War and Peace-building' (Afshar and Barakat); the '3 R' Framework and Peace-building in Sri Lanka funded by the Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies (Barakat and Evans); 'Evaluating the Social Impact of Equitization in Vietnam', funded by the Vietnamese Government and the British Council (Evans, Barakat and Afshar); and, 'Interim Authorities and Post-war Reconstruction' (Barakat and Evans). The PRDU has also been engaged in peace-building efforts at a practical level in Somalia, Aceh, Kosovo and the Lebanon.