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Welcome to VoxDev

A welcome from Editor-in-Chief, Tavneet Suri

Today, the IGC launched VoxDev.org in collaboration with the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) and and the Private Enterprise Development in Low Income Countries (PEDL) programme. Below is an editorial note cross-posted from the new site.

In today’s world, information, misinformation, and opinions abound. Not surprisingly, reliable evidence, the kind which can inform real improvements in human welfare, can be hard to find on one’s own. In the realm of international development, VoxDev aims to bridge this gap.

Here is our vision: We want to bring cutting-edge research to the forefront of decision making – for policymakers, the private sector, NGOs, the civil society, and everyone in between. We believe that the role of research should be elevated to inform economic decisions at every level. VoxDev will be the place where rigorous research on international development moves into practice; we will translate the state-of-the-art into pragmatic policy advice.

We live in a fascinating world with debates raging around the role of the state, trade barriers, industrialisation and deindustrialisation, demonetization, universal basic income, how to provide access to modern energy, the most efficient ways to deliver social services, the value of cities, the best pathways out of poverty, the impact of machines on unemployment, and so on. We hope to bring together evidence and experts on these debates to highlight not just what may be ideal policy but also its implications for the economy. More broadly, we believe, now more than ever, it is important that we bridge the gap between research and practice to empower all decision makers and work together towards a better world.

As researchers, we often assume that our research, once published, will reach its intended audience. It is not that simple. We must engage vigorously with the potential consumers of our research to ensure that evidence reaches and ultimately convinces those with the power to make change.  VoxDev will provide a platform to do just that.

It is my honor and pleasure to work alongside an amazing editorial board and team to kick off VoxDev. I am joined by a fantastic editorial board, Robin Burgess, Chang-Tai Hsieh and Chris Woodruff, an exceptional editorial team and a fabulous line up of founding contributors. Together we will draw on the mentorship of VoxEU and the breadth, experience and reach of the founding partners – CEPR, IGC and PEDL – to bring rigorous research to bear on the most important questions in international development, and discuss the issues of the day in the developing world with the weight of evidence behind us.

I am a big fan of Douglas Adams, so allow me draw on him here for some inspiration. In describing his vision for h2g2 (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Earth Edition), Adams wrote “The Guide was compiled by researchers roaming round the galaxy, beaming their copy in, which was then instantly available to anybody to read. Over, believe it or not, something called the SubEthaNet.” I want VoxDev to be “The Guide” for international development. And I couldn’t welcome you any better than Adams: “We’re off to a great start. We have the first snowflake. Now let’s build a blizzard.”

Join us! Read, watch, contribute, and/or put into practice! Help us make VoxDev the most important portal for evidence on issues in global development.

If you have any feedback, small or big, please reach out to us at engage@voxdev.org, we would love to hear your thoughts and ideas.

Visit the official website www.voxdev.org for more information.

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