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Tons of free research from IGOs

We often publicize a particular database or new publication from an intergovernmental organization and so it seems fitting to highlight just how generous many of these organizations are in terms of providing their publications/statistics/working papers for free to all comers.  Not only do they offer  high quality, scholarly work but you might also be surprised by the breadth of their interests.  Here are some prime examples:

  • Asian Development Bank: You might have guessed from the name that this organization focuses its work on developing Asian countries – but you might be surprised by just how broad the ADB’s interests are.
    • Despite the word “bank” in its name, the ADB is interested in a wide range of social topics and socio-economic topics including urban development, climate change, gender equality, HIV/AIDS, education, anti-terrorism and food security.
    • Also, the ADB is focused on the entire Asian region –  so you will find research and studies for countries as far flung as Azerbaijan, the Cook Islands, Armenia, Timor-Leste, Hong Kong and Vietnam.  For a complete list of its member countries click here
    • Print versions of its books are “for fee” but most are freely available as pdf downloads.  To access ADB publications click here and to access ADB economic research/statistics  click here.
  • UNESCO: is probably most famous for its work with protecting world heritage sites, but the organization is involved in a wide variety of other activities and interest areas including climate change, gender equality, HIV/AIDS, education, post-disaster & post-conflict response, and youth programs.
    • The best way to find all the fantastic free statistics and publications on the UNESCO site is by means of the “Themes” tab at the top of the home page.  Click on your relevant theme and a topic-based portal will open – with links to theme-related news, downloadable books, statistics/databases, teaching tools and related resources.
    • In addition to the resources that you will find in the theme portals, UNESCO also has an Institute for Statistics which offers a rich array of its statistics and statistical publications covering all of its themes.   UNESCO is particularly strong in education, gender mainstreaming, and science & technology.
  • Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO):  We have highlighted several of the FAO’s resources before, but wanted to take this opportunity to stress the broad array of its interest areas.   Of course the organization is keenly interested in agriculture, food security and sustainability, but did you know that it also works in areas including information management, gender equality, education, banking/microfinance and HIV/AIDS?

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