Better Assistance in Crises (BASIC) Research Programme


Better Assistance in Crises (BASIC) Research is a partnership between the Institute of Development StudiesHumanitarian Outcomes and the Centre for International Development Training funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). BASIC Research aims to inform policy and programming on how to help poor and vulnerable people cope better with crises and meet their basic needs through more effective social assistance in contexts of recurrent shocks, climate crises, humanitarian crises, protracted conflict and forced displacement. BASIC Research will focus on eight cross-cutting areas:

  • Routine, effective and efficient delivery – What works?
  • Financing and value for money – How can financing for basic assistance in crises be sustained, more nationally led, better value for money and less reliant on humanitarian aid?
  • Risks, accountability and technology – How can the risks and benefits of new technologies best be managed and how can accountability be strengthened?
  • Climate resilience – How can social assistance in crises contribute to greater resilience to shocks (including climate shocks) and support climate adaptation?
  • Politics, principles and the role of the state – How can states best be supported to expand coverage and include refugees and other excluded groups and how can transitions to more nationally led social assistance be supported?
  • Displacement – How does the categorisation of mobility affect the provision of social assistance? How do states provide social assistance to displaced people?
  • Inclusion – What prevents social assistance reaching all those who need it and meeting the specific needs of vulnerable groups? How can coverage be extended?
  • Livelihoods and transformation – How can social assistance in crises aim to be transformative and promotive as well as protective?


Better Assistance in Crises (BASIC) Research is a multi-year programme (2020–24).