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  • Blog post

    The current state of artisanal and small-scale mining in Zambia

    Zambia’s development trajectory has been shaped by mining.  For close to a hundred years, the extraction of copper has dominated the economy. Without exception, the firms that have controlled the sector have been large-scale, mostly foreign – albeit with periods of national ownership – had access to huge capital outlays, and have focused on copper mining. Relatively...

    6 Nov 2019 | Twivwe Siwale

  • Blog post

    Climate change: won or lost in cities or by cities?

    Extinction Rebellion disrupted London and brought many transport routes to a standstill on Easter Weekend in 2019. A key demand for the direct action group was for the government to declare a climate emergency. This demand has since been met - by the UK parliament, as well as the Argentinian senate, the French parliament and the Canadian House of Commons. In fact,...

    1 Nov 2019 | Oliver Harman

  • Blog post

    Urbanisation and structural transformation in Africa

    Urbanisation is central to Africa’s development, yet the basic facts of the process remain a puzzle to social scientists and policymakers alike. Economists typically explain urbanisation through the combination of two forces: agricultural push and industrial pull. Agricultural gains provide the initial impetus to urbanisation because they allow food requirements to be...

    1 Nov 2019 | Sebastian Kriticos

  • Blog post

    Treedistribution: Combatting environmental inequality in cities

    Inequality is not a recent phenomenon. One root of inequality can be traced back to pre-historic urban civilisations, where grain stores varied in size and the grain-wealthy clustered together in particular locations. But with the increasing importance of inequality across and within countries over time, governments have often first turned their attention to addressing the...

    31 Oct 2019 | Oliver Harman

  • Blog post

    The economic figures behind the protests in the Middle East

    Though they might seem unconnected, the underlying root causes of protests in many countries in the Middle East are similar. Protesters in all countries complain about deteriorated economic conditions, income inequality, and widespread endemic corruption. Jordan, Algeria, Iraq, and most recently Lebanon have all witnessed protests over the past year. The majority of...

    30 Oct 2019 | Moussa Saab

  • Blog post

    The costs of urban giants in sub-Saharan Africa

    Several African cities have become veritable urban giants. Lagos and Cairo are each home to more than 20 million people, while others like Kinshasa, Luanda, and Dar es Salaam continue to grow at breakneck speed. The way these major cities grow will have tremendous impacts on future development in Africa. Cities can be inherently productive spaces because they bring people...

    30 Oct 2019 | Sebastian Kriticos

  • Blog post

    Inclusive growth for cities: Fuzzy, functional or forsaken?

    The challenge: Inequality in cities Inequality is one of the pressing issues of our time. China’s growth has reduced inequality globally, yet within countries, disparities have tended to increase. This increase in inequality has been most present in cities. Urban areas can be the most unequal: the benefits of scale and specialisation often failing to find their way...

    30 Oct 2019 | Oliver Harman, Neil Lee

  • Blog post

    Identity, norms and narratives and state bureaucracy

    The process of building state effectiveness and legitimacy is lengthy and far more complex in transitional societies and contexts of fragility. A lack of legitimacy makes it more difficult to build key public organisations (e.g. taxation authorities, police, and judiciary). Public services are crucial for societies to reduce poverty, build resilience to shocks, and prevent...

    22 Oct 2019 | Nematullah Bizhan

  • Blog post

    Humans of policy research: Personal stories from implementing and government partners of the Ethiopia Industrial Park Community impact evaluation

    Policymakers, government partners, and local stakeholders play a critical role in the success (or failure) of an impact evaluation. Often motivated by a desire to have better evidence for decision making, policymakers engage with research teams on the development, design, and implementation of these impact evaluations. By working together, researchers can make sure that...

    7 Oct 2019 | Morgan Hardy, Christian Meyer, Kayleigh Campbell, Eyoual Tamrat

  • Blog post

    The politics of strengthening local government: Lessons from Zambia

    Decentralisation of government functions can improve accountability and service provision, but this pursuit presents key political challenges. Due to greater decentralisation, local governments around the world are increasingly expected to play a major role in tackling key development challenges, from mitigating climate change to improving access to healthy diets. The...

    2 Oct 2019 | Danielle Resnick