The GCRF proje111ct is using blended mixed media to present the research through illustrations and photography to ensure anonymity to respondents concerning sensitive issues. Photo credit: David Mansfield. Afghanistan

Jonathan Goodhand, Professor in Conflict and Development Studies at SOAS University of London, has been awarded a grant of just over £7million from The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Research Councils UK Collective Fund for a project on war and drugs.

The project ‘Drugs and (dis)order: Building sustainable peacetime economies in the aftermath of war’ is led by Professor Goodhand and will work with researchers in three of the world’s largest drug-producing countries – Afghanistan, Colombia and Myanmar. It aims to build a research base that helps transform illicit economies.

Professor Goodhand said: “Wars on drugs have been declared by leaders across countries who are concerned about the impacts of illicit drugs on security, development and health. However a new approach is needed and one that is based upon evidence about what works and what doesn’t, and which is defined by the drug producing countries themselves, and recognises what the trade-offs are and who bears the costs of such policies.”

GCRF is a £1.5 billion fund that supports cutting-edge research which addresses the global issues faced by developing countries. £225 Million has been invested from the GCRF across 37 interdisciplinary projects to address challenges in fields such as health, humanitarian crises, conflict, the environment, the economy, domestic violence, society, and technology.

Jo Johnson, Minister for Universities and Science, said: “From healthcare to green energy, the successful projects receiving funding today highlight the strength of the UK’s research base and our leadership in helping developing countries tackle some of the greatest global issues of our time.

“At a time when the pace of scientific discovery and innovation is quickening, we are placing science and research at the heart of our Industrial Strategy to build on our strengths and maintain our status as science powerhouse.”

The project is a research consortium made up of members from the UK London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), London School of Economics (LSE), Christian Aid, ALCIS and PositiveNegatives, Afghanistan (Afghan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU) and the Organisation for Sustainable Development and Research (OSDR), Colombia (Universidad Nacional de Colombia and the Research Centre on Drugs and Security, Universidad de los Andes) and Myanmar (Kachinland Research Centre (KRC) and the Shan Herald Agency for News).