Research Guide


General Information

  • Background Notes, U.S. Department of State
    U.S. State Department country profiles: includes facts about the land, people, history, government, political conditions, economy, and foreign relations of independent states, some dependencies, and areas of special sovereignty. The Background Notes are updated/revised by the Office of Electronic Information and Publications of the Bureau of Public Affairs as they are received from the Department’s regional bureaus and are added to the database of the Department of State website.
  • BBC News Country Profiles
    Full profiles provide an instant guide to history, politics and economic background of countries and territories, and background on key institutions. They also include audio or video clips from BBC archives.
  • Congressional Research Service Online (CRS) Reports and Issue Briefs
    For prior to 1999, check UW Library catalog for Congressional Research Service.
  • Constitutions
    UW Libraries Government Publications guide to websites with information about constitutions from around the world.
  • Country Studies.
    Online versions of the Country Studies/Area Handbook series from Library of Congress.
  • Economic Intelligence Unit
    Country, industry and management analysis.
  • Elections and Parliamentary information
    UW Libraries Government Publications guide to websites with information about elections and parliaments from around the world.
  • Europa Regional Surveys of the World
    From Europa publications unlimited, print resources that survey world regions from 1969-2003. Not all regions covered for entire range chronologically.
  • Europa World: the Europa world year book online
    Europa World is the online version of the Europa World Year Book, a source of information on world-wide affairs. First published in 1926, the year book covers political and economic information in over 250 countries and territories, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.
  • Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO)
    Food and Agriculture data and statistics.
    FAO serves as a knowledge network, policy expert, and meeting place for nations to discuss hunger and other food issues. Country profiles, statistics, indicators, publications, documents, and much more.
  • Encyclopedia of the Nations
    Print encyclopedias of basic country information, divided by region, then by country.
  • Foreign (National) Governments
    Northwestern University Library, Government Publications & Maps.
  • Foreign Government Resources on the Web
    University Of Michigan Libraries Documents Center.
  • InterAction: American Council for Voluntary International Action Library
    InterAction is the largest alliance of U.S.-based international development and humanitarian nongovernmental organizations. Documents and press releases are categorized by document type, country, committee, region, and program areas/sector.
  • International Historical Statistics : Africa, Asia & Oceania, 1750-2000
    The latest edition of the most authoritative collection of statistics available. Updated to 2002 wherever possible, it provides key economic and social indicators for the last 250 years, serving as an essential reference source for both hard-to-find historical data and the latest figures available, and as an indispensable tool for comparisons between countries and across time.
  • International Historical Statistics : the Americas, 1750-2000
    The latest edition of the most authoritative collection of statistics available. Updated to 2002 wherever possible, it provides key economic and social indicators for the last 250 years, serving as an essential reference source for both hard-to-find historical data and the latest figures available, and as an indispensable tool for comparisons between countries and across time.
  • International Historical Statistics : Europe, 1750-1993
    The latest edition of the most authoritative collection of statistics available. Updated to 2002 wherever possible, it provides key economic and social indicators for the last 250 years, serving as an essential reference source for both hard-to-find historical data and the latest figures available, and as an indispensable tool for comparisons between countries and across time.
  • International Monetery Fund (IMF)
    The IMF is an organization of 184 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty. Documents, statistics, indicators, and other information by country.
  • International Inter-governmental & Non-governmental Organizations homepage
    UW Libraries Government Publications guide to websites with information on international inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations.
  • Linkages
    A multimedia resource for environment and development policy makers. The International Institute for Sustainable Development provides links to documents relating to development negotiations and meetings, including searchable archives of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin.
  • Maps and Country Data (UW Restricted) (NB: Click Link on Left Side Of the Webpage.)
    This feature is part of CIAO, Columbia International Affairs Online.
  • Millenium Development Goals
    The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015 – form a blueprint agreed to by all the world’s countries and all the world’s leading development institutions. Information on specific countries’ progress towards goals.
  • ReliefWeb
    ReliefWeb is the global hub for time-critical humanitarian information on Complex Emergencies and Natural Disasters
  • SourceOECD
    Data on multiple topics and regions.
  • Statistical Data Locators
    Nanyang Technological University library guide to statistics. Locates specific statistical resources by region and topic.
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
    UNDP is the UN’s global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life.
  • United Nations Statistics Division
    The Statistics Division is committed to the advancement of the global statistical system. They compile and disseminate global statistical information, develop standards and norms for statistical activities, and support countries’ efforts to strengthen their national statistical systems.
  • UNESCO Institute for Statistics
    Global and internationally comparable statistics on education, science, technology, culture and communication.
  • USAID Development Links
    This page lists sites of interest to people and organizations involved in humanitarian and development activities around the world.
  • U.S. CIA, The World Factbook
    For a unique online presentation of the CIA WORLD FACTBOOK, see
  • UW Libraries, Countries, States & Cities
    Geographic information. Maps, gazzateers, facts, and more.
  • World Bank
    The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. Data, research, projects, and much more.
  • World News Connection
    A foreign news service from the U.S. government. Access news sources by country.
  • World Wide Web Virtual Library: International Development
    A collection of links to internet sites dealing with international development, including topics, countries, regions, organizations, documents, portals, libraries, statistical sources and more.
  • World Wide Web Virtual Library: Sustainable Development
    A comprehensive list of internet sites dealing with sustainable development, including organisations, projects and activities, electronic journals, libraries, references and documents, databases, directories or metadatabases


  • Anuario estadístico de América Latina y el Caribe = Statistical yearbook for Latin America and the Caribbean.
    United Nations statistics from Latin America, 1987-2004, in multiple formats. Not every year covered in that range.
  • Economic and Social Progress in Latin America
    Data, policies, and more from the Inter-American Development Bank
  • Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture
    Five volume encyclopedia of Latin American history and culture.
  • Encyclopedia of U.S. Foreign Relations
    Four volume encyclopedia of U.S. foreign relations, including with Latin American countries.
  • HAPI (Hispanic American Periodicals Index)
    The searchable Web version of the Hispanic American Periodicals Index. A source for authoritative, worldwide information about Central and South America, Mexico, the Caribbean basin, the United States-Mexico border region, and Hispanics in the United States. From analyses of current political, economic, and social issues to unique coverage of Latin American arts and letters, HAPI Online contains complete bibliographic citations to articles, book reviews (through 2001), documents, original literary works, and other materials appearing in more than 500 key social science and humanities journals published throughout the world. Many of the citations are linked to full text.
  • LANIC (Latin American Network Information Center)
    Affiliated with the Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies (LLILAS) at the University of Texas at Austin, LANIC’s mission is to facilitate access to Internet-based information to, from, or on Latin America. The target audience includes people living in Latin America, as well as those around the world who have an interest in this region. While many of the resources are designed to facilitate research and academic endeavors, the site has also become an important gateway to Latin America for primary and secondary school teachers and students, private and public sector professionals, and just about anyone looking for information about this important region.
  • LANIC Regional Resources Statistics
    LANIC’s statistical resources by country.
  • Latin American Periodicals Tables of Contents (LAPTOC)
    Searchable Web database that provides access to the tables of contents of more than 800 journals, primarily in the humanities and social sciences, published in Latin America
  • Latindex Indice
    Computer links to the Web sites of scholarly periodicals from Latin America, the Caribbean, Spain and Portugal. In Spanish.
  • Statistical Abstract of Latin America
    Statistics about Latin America issued by University of California Los Angeles, 1955-2002. Library holdings incomplete.
  • Sustainable Development Working Papers
    World Bank sustainable development working papers about Latin America.
  • World News Connection, Region/Topic Search
    Access to full-text English translations of Latin and North American newspapers and news services 1996 to present.
  • World Bank e-library: Latin America
    The “Latin American Collection” portal of the World Bank e-Library. This area includes those titles that are specific to the World Bank’s work in the region or have a regional focus.



Middle East

Asia and Oceania

  • Asian Development Bank
    ADB is a multilateral development financial institution owned by 65 members, 47 from the region and 18 from other parts of the globe. Data and statistics, country and regional profiles, publications, information about select topics, plus more.
  • Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation
    Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) works in three broad areas to meet the Bogor Goals of free and open trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific by 2010 for developed economies and 2020 for developing economies. Publications, event calendar, documents and reports, information on selected topics, plus more.
  • Asia Source
    AsiaSource is an online resource developed by the Asia Society to meet the need for timely, reliable, unbiased information and assistance regarding the cultural, economic, social, historical, and political dimensions of Asia. The Asia Society is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.
  • Asian Studies Network Informaton Center
    University of Texas information network center for the Asian Studies department.
  • Census 2000 island areas summary file. Guam, American Samoa, Virgin Islands, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
    On CD in Government Publications
  • Digital South Asia Library
    Provides digital materials for reference and research on South Asia to scholars, public officials, business leaders, and other users.
  • Encyclopedia of Asian History
    From the Asia Society.
    Statistical information on India from a variety of sources.
  • International Historical Statistics, Africa, Asia & Oceania, 1750-1993
    The latest edition of the most authoritative collection of statistics available. Updated to 2002 wherever possible, it provides key economic and social indicators for the last 250 years, serving as an essential reference source for both hard-to-find historical data and the latest figures available, and as an indispensable tool for comparisons between countries and across time.
  • NativeWeb
    Site features local and remote sources related to indigenous peoples from all over the world. Offers full-text search capabilities, native events calendar, free subscriptions to several electronic mailing lists, job listings, message boards, online chat room, and access to issues of the electronic newsletter, Wotanging ikche (Native American news). Also provides links to related WWW sites.
  • PAIR (Portal to Asian Internet Resources)
    The Portal to Asian Internet Resources, based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is a cooperative project of The Ohio State University Libraries, the University of Minnesota Libraries, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries. The project provides a user-friendly, searchable catalog through which scholars, students and the general public have quick and easy access to high quality Web resources originating in Asia identified, evaluated, selected and cataloged by area library specialists.
  • Public Health, WWW Virtual Library
    Statistics, websites, and development specific information for public health topics in Oceania.
  • Southeast Asia News Sources
    UW Libraries guide to internet and print news sources in Southeast Asia.
  • World News Connection, Region/Topic Search
    Access to full-text English translations of Asian newspapers and news services 1996 to present.
  • World Bank e-library: East Asia
    The “East Asia” portal of the World Bank e-Library. This area includes those titles that are specific to the World Bank’s work in the region or have a regional focus.
  • World Bank e-library: South Asia
    The “South Asia” portal of the World Bank e-Library. This area includes those titles that are specific to the World Bank’s work in the region or have a regional focus.

Indigenous People


Case Studies

  • Case studies is an LC Subject Heading that can be combined with other subject headings in the UW Library Catalog. These other subject headings can be subjects, geographical places, or formats.
    Examples include:
    Case Studies Developing Countries
    Case Studies Developing Countries Economic Conditions
    Case Studies Sustainable Agriculture China
    Case Studies Sustainable Development Developing Countries Bibliography
  • Community-Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) Case Studies
    Divided by country.
  • The International Development Research Centre: Case Studies
    22 case studies included in this evaluation which cover more than 60 projects in over 20 countries.
  • Sustainable Development Case Studies
    Compiled by students at Colby College.
  • United Nations: Johannesburg Summit 2002 Directory of websites of cases studies in sustainable development
    The Johannesburg Summit Secretariat has compiled this directory of websites in order to assist those seeking examples of sustainable development initiatives by linking them to documented case studies. The Directory is divided into categories reflecting the entity mainly responsible in developing each website, i.e. Intergovernmental organisations (mainly the UN family), governments, businesses, local authorities, NGOs and research institutes/educational establishments. It is global in scope and includes a wide variety of organisations from local initiatives to broad international partnerships in all sectors.
  • World Business Council for Sustainable Development: Case Studies
    This database aims to include specific projects, learning processes and strategies that companies are using in order to inspire others to contribute in a pro-active way to sustainable development.


  • Combine LC Subject Encyclopedia with respective LC subjects
    For example:
    Economic development –- Encyclopedias
    Development economics — Encyclopedias
  • Encyclopedia of developing regional communities with information and communication technology
    This encyclopedia provides a thorough examination of concepts, technologies, policies, training, and applications of ICT in support of economic and regional developments around the globe.
  • Encyclopedia of international development
    Covers international business and economics terms, information about legal documents, treaties, theoretical concepts, controversies about how best to proceed, and specific terms.
  • Encyclopedia of the global economy : a guide for students and researchers
    Topical coverage includes international trade, foreign investment, transnational corporations, and economic and human development, highlighting such contemporary issues. Also includes profiles of prominent economists, business leaders, and policymakers who have contributed to our understanding of globalization, as well as organizations that work to promote it. A timeline of major events and a glossary of key concepts and institutions complement the narrative entries. Also includes a wide array of primary documents, a “data bank” of world statistics on demographic and economic trends, and print and Internet resources for further research.
  • Encyclopedia of U.S. Foreign Relations
    Comprehensive, multivolume reference work on the history of America’s foreign relations.

Government Publications

  • In the UW Libraries Catalog, under Advanced Keyword Search, combine the location Government Publications with keywords and LC Subjects on your topic.
  • See UW Libraries Government Publications Home Page
    Home page of the Government Publications unit in the UW Libraries. Includes links and pathfinders to local, U.S. and international government resources.

Handbooks and bibliographies



Legal resources


  • Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection
    Online map collection of the University of Texas at Austin. Includes maps of regions, topical maps, and constanty updated list of maps of “current interest”.
  • ReliefWeb: Maps
    List of links to online map resources, including disaster-specific map resources.
  • UW Libraries Map Collection & Cartographic Services
    Links to the University of Washington Libraries map collection, which offers “the premier cartographic collection in Washington State, with over 267,000 map sheets, 80,000 aerial photographs, and 2,000 atlases … electronic mapping products and digital geospatial data for use with GIS software.

Microfiche collections

  • Foreign Broadcast Information Service Daily Report / by Region
    FBIS offers extensive coverage of open source intelligence information on military affairs, politics, the environment, societal issues, economics, and science and technology. The information is obtained from daily monitoring of radio, television, press, periodicals, books and other sources of unrestricted information such as databases and gray literature. One report with translations is issued for each of eight world regions for each day.
  • A.I.D. Research Development and Abstracts
  • Foreign Broadcast Information Service electronic index
    An index to the Daily Reports published by the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS). The index can be searched as a whole, through various bibliographic access points, or through descriptive terms assigned by NewsBank indexers.
  • National Development Plans
    Alpha by country.
    Includes material issued during the 1950-early 1970s period on certain countries of Europe, Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Pacific.


  • BBC
    UK-publicly owned news and broadcasting corporation. Offers international news and country profiles. Includes photos and text.
  • CNN
    Offers international news and weather information. Includes video, photos, and text.
  • Ethnic Newswatch
    Full text ethnic, minority, and native publications.
  • Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS)
    Index to FBIS Daily Reports issued by the U.S. Government covering political, economic, scientific, and cultural issues and events throughout the world. Translations of broadcasts, news agency transmissions, newspapers, periodicals, and government statements from nations around the world are the sources of this information. Continued by World News Connection.
  • Global Newsbank
    Full text, 1996 to present, selected coverage from newspapers, magazines, government documents, broadcasts, and wire services.
  • Green Progress
    Green building and sustainable development news
  • Human Rights Watch
    Human Rights Watch is the largest human rights organization based in the US; Human Rights Watch researchers conduct fact-finding investigations into human rights abuses in all regions of the world
  • Lexis Nexis Academic (UW Restricted)
    1996 to the present, Washington state, U.S. and international newspapers, wire services, transcripts, and more.
  • Microforms and Newspaper collections
    Links to U.S. and international news sources. Some material UW restricted
  • New York Times (UW Restricted)
    Searchable, full-text access to the NYT from 1851 to 2003
  • News Sources on the Internet
    UW Libraries Links to News Sources, by Region.
    The OneWorld network spans five continents and produces content in 11 different languages, published across its international site, regional editions, and thematic channels. Many of these are produced from the South to widen the participation of the world’s poorest and most marginalised peoples in the global debate.
  • Proquest (UW Restricted)
    Mostly full-text, mid-1980s to present, Washington State, International, and U.S. Newspapers.
  • Readex Access UN
    Covers 1946 to 2003. Citations and some full text United Nations publications.
  • World News Connection
    1994 to the present, continues FBIS.



Development Organizations

Development Electronic Discussion Groups and Directories

Some Northwest International Development Organizations

Professional Organizations

Research groups and think tanks

  • International Development Research Center (IRDC)
    “IDRC is a Canadian Crown corporation that works in close collaboration with researchers from the developing world in their search for the means to build healthier, more equitable, and more prosperous societies.”
  • International Dialogue on Science and Practice in Sustainable Development
    “Dialogues on Science and Practice in Sustainable Development aims to foster effective collaborations between scientists and practitioners to advance the practice of sustainable development, through knowledge sharing and promoting national, regional, and international actions and implementation.”
  • Sphere Project
    “Launched in 1997 by a group of humanitarian NGOs and the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement [it] … is based on two core beliefs: first, that all possible steps should be taken to alleviate human suffering arising out of calamity and conflict, and second, that those affected by disaster have a right to life with dignity and therefore a right to assistance. Sphere is three things: a handbook, a broad process of collaboration and an expression of commitment to quality and accountability. The project has developed several tools, the key one being the handbook.”
  • Sustainable Development Institute
    “The Sustainable Development Institute (SDI) is dedicated to examining sustainability issues and applying them to the Menominee model of sustainable development. This Web Site is devoted to explorations of questions like, what is sustainable development? Answers are offered through multimedia presentations, essays, and conversations on the Menominee, their Forest, and their spirit. Please enter our virtual environment and help us look at ways to sustain our nation, forest and spirit.”

A webliography of books, websites, journals, etc. that I’ve found useful and/or influential in researching library ideas and forming my own set of values and ideas. Some of these I have read completely, others only partially read or skimmed through.


Development as Freedom, Amartya Kumar Sen

One Village.

Wood, John. Leaving Microsoft to Change the World: An Entrepreneur’s Odyssey to Educate the World’s Children. Founder of Room to Read.

UW Libraries Government Publications, International Development Resources Pathfinder, Emily Inlow

Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

International Development and Libraries

Wendell, Laura. Libraries for all: how to start and run a small library. UNESCO.
Education & Literacy

Freire, Paulo. Pedagogy of the oppressed. Continuum International Publishing Group.

Langer, Judith (ed.). (1987). Language, literacy, and culture : issues of society and schooling. Ablex Pub. Corp.

Olson, David (ed.). The making of literate societies. Blackwell Publishers.

Street, Brian. Social Literacies: Critical Approaches to Literacy Development, Ethnography, and Education. Addisson Wessely Company.

Street, Brian. What’s “new” in New Literacy Studies? Critical approaches to literacy theory and practice. Current Issues in Comparative Education, Vol.5 (2)

Wikipedia contributors. (2006). Literacy. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

Children’s Services

Sullivan, Michael. (2005). Fundamentals of children’s services. American Library Association.


Carlesen, Robert S. (1997). The war for the heart & soul of a highland Maya town. Austin : University of Texas Press

Fischer, E.F., Brown, R.M. (1996). Maya cultural activism in Guatemala. University of Texas Press/Institute of Latin American Studies.
Sexton, James D. (1999). Heart of heaven, heart of earth, and other Mayan folktales. Washington : Smithsonian Institution Press.

Sexton, James D. (1992). Ignacio : the diary of a Maya Indian of Guatemala. Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press.

Stanzione, Vincent J. (2003). Rituals of sacrifice : walking the face of the earth on the sacred path of the sun : a journey through Tz’utujil Maya world of Santiago Atitlán. Albuquerque : University of New Mexico Press.

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