We work at the frontline of development assistance, understanding what works or doesn’t work in development.

ISSR’s development effectiveness research contributes to international policies and improving social and economic development outcomes in practice, with a focus on complex, fragile and conflicted social settings. Using qualitative and quantitative methods, our researchers works closely with frontline development workers to ensure our research impacts their practice and systemic institutional change. All projects are concerned with building evidence for improved social policies, including the effects of the public finance systems upon local development practice.

This area of research also has a strong focus on developing training and educational products to augment and disseminate research findings.

Contact us for partnership opportunities

ISSR group leaders, Professor Mark Moran and Professor Paul Memmott, contributed to 2017 Brisbane Writers Festival panel discussions, which were delivered to public audiences in early September.

Prof Moran spoke to the ongoing struggle for legal and moral recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander claim to land and waterways in Land Rights. UQ Associate Professor at Law, Margaret Stephenson, chaired the panel including Prof Moran alongside Charlie Ward, writer and historian, and Sam Watson, political activist and author. 

Prof Memmott shared his expertise on Aboriginal Australian approaches to the built environment in Aboriginal Architecture. The panel was moderated by Michael Aird, acclaimed curator and producer of photographic art of Aboriginal history and culture; and included alongside Prof Memmott, Carroll Go-Sam, research fellow within UQ's Indigenous Design Place, and Timmah Ball, recognised writer and urban researcher.

ISSR offers three types of learning opportunities within the development field:

  • Short course - beneficial for those working in front-line services

  • MicroMasters® - a five course series recognised by industry, for professionals wishing to develop technical, managerial, and leadership skills for international contexts

  • Research Higher Degree - a research degree, such as a Master or a PhD, for those wishing to advance theoretical knowledge in global development

Advanced Place-based Development Approaches

This five day short course is designed for professionals working in front-line service delivery who tackle complex social problems in Indigenous communities, urban centres, country towns and developing countries.

The course is beneficial for government and NGO staff at all levels, and for staff working with Indigenous and community organisations, mining companies or other private sector employers. Participants will build skills for place-based approaches, locally-led decision making, frontline leadership, institutional brokering, and adapting to complexity.

Discover more about this short course

Leadership in Global Development MicroMasters®

Are you working in the development sector and looking to take the next step in your career?

International and community development aims to reduce poverty and improve the living standards, health and quality of life for those who need it most. As our world and the challenges we face becomes more complex, we need qualified and skilled professionals to lead across sectors and organizations.

Delivered by UQ, through edX, this MicroMasters credential will build skills to propel your career in the development sector.

Discover more about this credential            What is a MicroMasters?



Research Higher Degrees

Contact an ISSR research leader with a topic of your choosing, or find inspiration from our list of featured projects.

Discover more about an RHD          Scholarships

Australian civilian, police and military female personnel in multilateral peace and security operations (the Deployed Women Project)

ISSR was commissioned by the Australian Civil-Military Centre to deliver evidence-based research on the experiences, contributions and impact of Australian civilian, police and military female personnel who have deployed to United Nations, NATO and regional peace and security operations.... Read more

ARC DP16 Assessing the impact of public finances on the PNG-Australia borderland

In this research, we are examining the policies in place in the PNG-Australia borderland region and how these affect the lives of people living there. We are undertaking policy reviews of Australian and PNG governments and the Australian Aid program, exploring new policy solutions, and assessing the impact.... Read more

Aboriginal lifeworlds, conditionality, and housing outcomes

This study addresses the issues of obtaining an optimum balance between conditionality (especially tenancy rules and duties) and preserving Indigenous social capital, so as to enable an effective ‘recognition space’ between tenants’ life values and housing managers’ rule structures.... Read more

Contact us about your project needs