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  • Blog post

    Urban agriculture: A viable safety net for the urban poor during times of crisis?

    One of the most devastating side effects of COVID-19 and the associated national lockdowns is the impact it is having on food access for the poor. Sub-Saharan Africa, with an already fragile food system, where rapid urbanisation and the rise of urban poverty pose substantial challenges to food security and nutrition, is likely to be hit the hardest. A simulation by the IGC...

    21 May 2020 | Thierry Hoza Ngoga, Victoria Delbridge

  • Blog post

    Behavioural economics of lockdown compliance: In search of lost time and well-behaved neighbours

    There are some crucial insights that behavioural economics and surrounding psychological evidence can bring to bear on public policies of a lockdown. Such insights are particularly pertinent to leveraging humans' 'predictable irrationality' in its design. Applying this evidence suggests that, where lockdowns are implemented, it might be better for policymakers to impose...

    4 May 2020 | Oliver Harman, Victoria Delbridge

  • Blog post

    Technology and property tax: Raising city revenue in Kampala

    Recent technology has proved effective in expanding the city’s tax base but requires up to date data and is no substitute for supportive policy and legislation. Property taxes are a hugely important potential source of revenue for cities. Faced with limited municipal revenues and rapidly growing populations, taxes on the value of land and property can offer a...

    14 Apr 2020 | Priya Manwaring, Tanner Regan

  • Blog post

    Tendering trash: Lessons in urban waste management from Indian cities

    South Asian cities are urbanising rapidly. With this, overflowing landfills and trash laden streets are becoming more common. Local governments and municipal corporations, many marred by inadequate financing and low capacity, are the first to be held responsible for this mismanagement, from which further negative spill overs occur. These can include high incidences of...

    17 Mar 2020 | Oliver Harman, Sidharth Santhosh

  • 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

    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

  • Blog post

    Navigating the urban age

    Whatever we might say is right or wrong with cities of the 21st century, they are indisputably a defining feature of our age. As much as we are post-modern, post-gender or post-colonial, we are also post-rural. Our existence, for an increasing majority, is urban. Even more than that, our aspirations are urban. This is visible almost everywhere. In the US, people with...

    11 Feb 2020 | Oliver Harman, Shahrukh Wani

  • Blog post

    Urban data innovations: Three cities showing their smarts

    Last year the International Growth Centre (IGC) co-hosted a policy workshop in Washington DC in the United States (US) with the World Bank, George Washington University, and the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) as part of the 6th Urbanisation and Poverty Reduction Conference. The theme was ‘Leveraging new data for better urban management and policies’. This year,...

    10 Feb 2020 | Victoria Delbridge, Oliver Harman