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Research Guides

Public policy: key government resources

A guide to governmental and grey literature sources for public policy research prepared by Sam-chin Li, University of Toronto Libraries.



Google Custom Search (IGOs)

  • Search for government information from Intergovernmental Organizations.
  • Searches sites including: *, *, *, *, *

List of IGOs (Northwestern University Library)

Civil Society Database (UN)

Yearbook of International Organizations (online)

  • Reference encyclopedia containing international non-governmental (NGOs) and intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) except for-profit enterprises.
  • Contains civil society organizations in 300 countries and territories.
  • Browse Organization, geography, subject, statistics, or personal name.
  • Links to websites of many organizations.

Union of International Associations (UIA)

Google Custom search (NGOs)

Columbia International Affairs Online (CIAO)

  • Working papers, journals, books, policy briefs, case studies, videos and more.

Foreign Affairs Online

  • International relations
  • international law
  • U.S. Foreign Policy

International Relations (Oxford Bibliographies)

  • University of Toronto only


United Nations

United Nations Homepage


Official Document system of the United Nations (ODS)  

  • full-text access to most UN parliamentary documents 
  • coverage from 1993 on with selected older documents added daily
  • full-text of resolutions from 1946 on and selected General Assembly and Security Council documents 1985 on
  • does not include UN sales publications, UN Treaty Series, press releases and documents not publicly released
  • Progress status of the digitization of UN documents


  • UN statistical database
  • developed by the Statistics Division of DESA

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)  

Sustainable Development, Human Settlements and Engergy (UN)  

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)  

United Nations: Development Policy and Analysis Division  

WorldLII Databases 

European Union


European Sources Online (Cardiff EDC)

Open Grey (System for Information on Grey Literature in Europe)

How To series: a compendium of guides on How To... (European Information Association archived by University of Alberta Library)

1 - use the Official Journal
2 - find a Directive
3 - trace COM documents
4 - trace EC case law
5 - trace national implementing measures
6 - access and use the institutions registers
7 - find out about EU funding
8 - find out about the ERDF and ESF in the UK
9 - find out about EU contracts & tenders
10 - trace EU statistics
11 - research the EU (a guide for students)
12 - keep up-to-date with the EU.


Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

OECD Home Page


World Trade Organization

Trade topics

Documents, data and resources

GATT Digital Library: 1947 - 1994 (Stanford University Libraries)



G8 & G20

  • G8 Information Centre 
    • Forum for governments of eight of world's largest national economies
    • Focus on major economic & political issues
    • This site provided by G8 Research Group at Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto

  • G20 Information Centre 
    • Group of nineteen countries and the EU, with representation from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank
    • Established in response to global financial crisis of 1997-99
    • This site provided by G20 Research Group at Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto
    • Official G20 website

Amnesty International

Amnesty International

World Bank

World Bank Homepage

World Data Bank

World development report

  • HC59.7 .W645
  • provides a wide international readership with an extraordinary window on development economics
  • focuses on a specific aspect of development each year
  • Online version, 1978+

Global development finance

  • UN9..MG........-W542
  • formerly World Debt Table
  • online version
  • combines a diagnosis of recent trends and prospects for capital flows to developing countries with an analysis of important policy issues
  • published in the spring of each year

International Monetary Fund

International Monetary Fund Homepage

International Financial Statistics (IFS)

  • University of Toronto only
  • online: annual, quarterly and monthly data from 1940+

Balance OF Payments Yearbook

  • University of Toronto only
  • online: annual and quarterly data from 1940+

Government Finance Statistics Yearbook

  • University of Toronto only
  • online: 1990 +
  • UN9..MF......G52
  • 1977+
  • includes data on transactions in revenue, expense, net acquisition of assets and liabilities, other economic flows and blances of assets and liabilities of general government and its subsectors

Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)

PARLINE database on national parliaments

  • contains information on the structure and working methods of 266 parliamentary chambers in 190 countries.

Election results

  • contains a complete record including a summary and statistics is available for all parliamentary elections around the world
  • some countries have data back from 1967+

Women in Politics (bibliographic database)

Women in national parliaments



International Law

Foreign & International Law Resources Database

  • Current and historical international law journals, yearbooks, digests, conferences and decisions.

Freedom of information

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