Development Engagement Lab

The Development Engagement Lab (DEL) continues the work of the Aid Attitudes Tracker (AAT) examining public attitudes and behaviours towards development, global poverty and overseas aid in four major donor countries: France, Germany, Great Britain and the United States. Developed by a team of researchers from the University of Birmingham, UCL and University of Texas at Dallas and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the project measures public opinion on aid and development over a period of 10 years (2013-18 and 2018-2023).

During this time, the team has been surveying 6-8,000 people across the four countries, via YouGov, every six months and found that support for aid in the UK has remained relatively stable despite the long shadow of austerity and criticism, from some parts. In France, support has risen sharply. Germany has maintained a high level of support throughout, and in the US, support has grown slightly.

The project has also helped to identify five sub-groups of the public with respect to how they engage with international development and global poverty:

  • Totally Disengaged (39% of UK public in July 2018) These people tend to not engage with the issues of global development at all – it’s just not on their radar and they’re often antagonistic towards spending on overseas aid.

  • Marginally Engaged (36%) The Marginally Engaged occasionally donate money to development charities or read the news related to global poverty, but are often too busy or distracted to commit to the issue and tend to be ‘on the fence’.

  • Informationally Engaged (12%) They tend to be younger and spend more time online, sharing stories via social media or signing petitions or writing to their MP or political representative.

  • Behaviourally Engaged (7%) These people do a range of traditional actions, from donating, volunteering for development NGOs, attending rallies and marches in support of the issue.

  • Fully Engaged (5%) These are the true believers and engage in the whole range of behaviours that the Behaviourally and the Informationally Engaged do.

For regular updates about DEL's work, follow us @DevEngageLab