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Research priorities

The IGC supports research focused on four themes:

State: This theme investigates how to improve the capacity of the public sector in developing countries to effectively deliver public goods and services that support economic growth. This includes issues such as governance and public sector management, public finance and taxation, political economy, and conflict.

Firms: This theme aims to generate knowledge related to firm capabilities and job creation. This work covers all types of firms: large, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), and farms, in both formal and informal sectors. Research topics include the determinants of firm productivity and policies to stimulate trade.

Cities: This theme explores what makes cities effective centres of economic prosperity, addressing both the drivers of and constraints to growth. Issues include the economics of agglomeration, improving infrastructure and service provision, building affordable housing markets, and migration.

Energy: This theme focuses on the significant role that access to reliable energy plays in shaping the growth paths of developing countries. Topics include improving access to and quality of energy services for households and firms, rural electrification, energy efficiency, and the effects of energy consumption on health and the environment.

For more detailed information on research priorities by theme and country, please use the filters below. All applicants are strongly encouraged to view the global priorities, as well as those related to the country/s they are interested in.

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Research Theme

  • Policies, programmes and innovations to improve transport and mobility infrastructure and systems to reduce traffic congestion and improve connectivity in Lusaka and other rapidly growing cities in Zambia

    A growing number of cars combined with lack of public transport has resulted in increased congestion and road fatalities in Zambia. Transport constraints also limit employment growth and poverty reduction. How effective is the current framework for managing and coordinating national and sub-national transport planning? How can the national transport and mobility infrastructure and systems be enhanced to improve connectivity within cities and country-wide? What scope is there to improve public transportation and make effective use of traffic management tools such as road tolling?  What relevant good practices from other countries could help guide Zambian reforms?

  • Municipal revenue financing in developing cities

    As Kampala city grows rapidly, it will need to make the necessary investments in infrastructure as well as to ensure the delivery of quality public services. However, to do so, it will need to raise its revenue base in a context where compliance is already low.

  • How can urban authorities create an environment that attracts private investment and creates jobs?

    Kampala is on the path to become a consumption city, with poor employment prospects for rural migrants. As the city grows on a daily basis, the authorities have to grapple with the question about how to increase productivity thereby improving employment prospects for its citizens.

  • Service delivery and urban governance

    Issues of service delivery and urban governance are also key areas of research. Issues include: urban infrastructure provision and financing; land titling and management; local authority taxation and financing; the institutional structures planning and managing urban services; and urban development.

  • Spatial and network impact of Cities

    Spatial dimension of economic growth in Tanzanian cities such as firm location, specialisation and emergence of national value chains. Also, national and regional network effects associated with urbanization and the improved interconnectivity of urban centres and the emergence of growth corridors. In particular, the impact of the role Tanzania plays as a transit route for landlocked countries and the integration of Tanzanian urban areas into regional value chains. Also, the planned movement of the government to Dodoma over the next few years.