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  • Blog post

    Balance for better: Advancing women’s political leadership

    “What we need is men and women in equal numbers, working as equals.”  This statement by Clare Short, former Secretary of State for the International Development of the United Kingdom (DFID) struck me for its revelatory simplicity. When more women work, economies prosper, productivity increases, and businesses benefit from organisational effectiveness and growth. If...

    3 Mar 2020 | Laura Sili

  • Blog post

    Social norms and firm productivity in Bangladeshi garment factories

    Low firm productivity in developing countries presents a key barrier to economic development. Existing economic literature largely focuses on the effects of managers’ and workers’ behaviours on firm productivity (e.g., misallocation of female labour inside the firm). In contrast, we ask why certain behaviours that negatively impact firm productivity arise. We focus on...

    28 Feb 2020 | Laura Boudreau, Noam Yuchtman, Oren Reshef, Sakib Ifetkh Mahmood

  • Blog post

    What’s the marginal productivity of a nurse?

    Imagine you are running a national health system in a country in Africa. You run thousands of health facilities and employ tens of thousands of nurses, doctors, midwives, and other health workers. Where should you deploy these personnel to have the greatest impact on public health?  Suppose there is a rural health clinic that employs two nurses. What would improve service...

    26 Feb 2020 | Binta Zahra Diop, Koku Awoonor-Williams, Anthony Ofosu, Martin Williams

  • Blog post

    Do civil service performance incentives work: Evidence from Ghana and Zambia

    “The problem with government is that bureaucrats don’t have any incentive to perform well.” If you’ve spent much time working in or with governments in low- or middle-income countries, you’ve almost certainly heard this lament many times – and maybe even said it yourself. The idea is simple, intuitive, and powerful: People aren’t performing well; people...

    25 Feb 2020 | Martin Williams, Liah Yecalo-Tecle

  • Blog post

    Reforming property tax valuation in Sierra Leone

    Across sub-Saharan Africa, ineffective property valuation presents a serious hurdle to strengthening local property taxes. Between January and August 2019, the International Growth Centre (IGC) co-piloted a simplified approach to property valuation in Freetown, Sierra Leone, that combines both surface area and easily-observable characteristics to arrive at an estimate of...

    21 Feb 2020 | Kevin Grieco, Julian Michel, Derek Holliday

  • Blog post

    Towards sustainable water provision in Mandalay

    The Mandalay City Development Committee (MCDC) is currently making a major loss in running its water system, with a deficit exceeding 50% of their operation and maintenance costs. This is without accounting for the need to expand and upgrade the system, much of which still stems from colonial times. How can policymakers ensure a sustainable future for piped-water supply in...

    19 Feb 2020 | Tanvi Nagpal, Ankit Chatri

  • Blog post

    The effect of financial literacy on the financial policies of firms

    Can education play a role in economic development through improved corporate practices? Several studies conducted with micro and small firms in developing countries point to this direction. But what about large firms? As large firms contribute to a sizeable share of the value created in a country, the potential effect of managers’ education on large firms’ performance...

    17 Feb 2020 | Cláudia Custódio, Daniel Metzger, Diogo Matos Mendes

  • Blog post

    Worker turnover and job flows in the formal private sector of Ethiopia

    Creating a sufficient number of stable and well-paying jobs remains a major challenge for African economies. Urban labour markets in the region are marked by high informality and unemployment rates, and most jobs offer minimum job security and typically very low wages. Indeed in Ethiopia, the informal economy is estimated to account for over 38% of GDP with data from the...

    14 Feb 2020 | Måns Söderbom, Admasu Shiferaw, Getnet Alemu

  • Blog post

    Urbanisation in fragile societies: Thinking about Kabul

    As part of the Blavatnik School of Government’s “Challenges of Government” Conference, the International Growth Centre’s Cities that Work team put together a panel on identity and legitimacy in Kabul. The discussion highlighted the importance of building legitimacy in fragile contexts, particularly given the emergence of fragmented identities and new networks of...

    13 Feb 2020 | Oliver Harman, Freshta Karim, Shoaib Rahim, Shahrukh Wani

  • Blog post

    Transforming secondary cities in Uganda for job creation

    Across developing countries, the combined forces of rapid population growth, a burgeoning youth workforce, and urbanisation have created a policy imperative to generate jobs at an enormous scale. While primary cities must play a role in this job creation, it is unrealistic to imagine that all the necessary jobs, or even the majority, can be created in a single metropolitan...

    12 Feb 2020 | Gregory Randolph, Miljan Sladoje, Sabina Dewan