We work with policymakers in developing countries to promote inclusive and sustainable growth through pathbreaking research.
Who we are
We are a global research centre with a network of world-leading researchers, country teams across Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East, and a set of global policy initiatives. Based at LSE and in partnership with the University of Oxford, we are majority funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).
Countries face a range of challenges that require new thinking, new evidence and a flow of new ideas Our approach has three main pillars:
- Focus on inclusive and sustainable growth to tackle poverty. We work to improve the productivity of people and firms as the backbone of economic development. We support governments in transitioning to resilient and low-carbon pathways to growth and in protecting vulnerable populations from the negative effects of climate change.
- Partnership with policymakers. We develop research in partnership with policymakers to have lasting impact on policy. Our in-country teams and global policy initiatives build long-term relationships with policymakers to better understand the development challenges they face and the questions they are trying to answer.
- Pathbreaking research. We provide robust academic evidence to inform policy decisions. Our research seeks to accelerate learning about effective policies by providing robust evidence of what works and by reframing policy questions to open up new approaches. This helps to strengthen existing policies, and enables the development of innovative and transformative policies in response to new challenges.
We focus on four key themes that are critical to transforming the productivity of people and firms to ensure that growth is inclusive and resilient, and to placing countries on a sustainable growth path. We see sustainable economic growth as the key catalyst through which developing countries can adapt to, and mitigate, climate change.
How firms are established, grow, and trade with one another, and how jobs can be more productive, green, and climate-resilient. Key topics include small and medium-sized enterprises, firm capabilities, labour markets, and global and regional trade.
How cities can be more productive and become centres for innovation while recognising urbanisation’s crucial link to climate change adaptation and carbon emissions. Key topics include infrastructure, public services, land use and planning, and municipal finance and governance.
How access to modern energy can be expanded while minimising future carbon and other emissions. Key topics include energy access, renewable energy, and pollution.
How the state can encourage private sector development and effective adaptation to climate change, including in fragile settings. Key topics include public sector effectiveness, state fragility, tax, social protection, and inclusive labour markets.
Our research, developed through long-term partnerships with policy stakeholders, feeds directly into policy decisions.
- Independence, objectivity, and integrity. Our research is grounded in academic independence, rigour, and objectivity. Our work is free from ideological and political agendas, enabling us to be an honest and valued partner for governments.
- Excellence through diversity. We commit to increasing equity, diversity, and inclusion as essential to delivering excellence. This applies across our research network, staff, organisational culture, policy engagements, and the policies we seek to inform with evidence.
- Collaboration and respect. Our collaborations with policymakers are based on two-way dialogue and mutual respect. We also value collaboration and respect internally, acknowledging the important roles that all staff play in the success of our work.
- Learning to improve. We embrace a strong organisational ethos around learning. We seek to better understand what works and what doesn’t to inform our approaches, strategies, and operations.