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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

  • Renewable sources of energy in the power generation

    In order to meet the energy requirements to maintain the economic growth momentum – approximately GDP 7%, there is need to understand the optimal combination of renewable and non-renewable sources of energy generation. Development of a framework for long term energy security to support sustainable growth is needed.

  • Issues of urban governance

    In Bangladesh, till date economic growth is closely correlated with urbanization – urban dwellers constitute about 28 percent of the total population of the country, but their contribution to GDP is more than 45 percent (Bangladesh 7th Five year Plan). Thus economic growth is closely correlated with urbanization. The sustained high rate of urban population growth implies that by 2015 about 30% of the country’s population will live in urban areas. This poses considerable demand on Bangladesh’s cities and towns to provide sufficient housing, infrastructure and urban services to its residents and to firms to successfully maximize the agglomeration.

  • Managing migration to cities, promoting decentralised urbanisation and supporting employment and livelihoods

    Lack of adequate housing for Bangladesh’s large urban population is a key problem in all of the cities and secondary towns in Bangladesh. Housing deficit in urban areas grew from 1.13 million units in 2001 to 4.6 million units in 2010 (Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics). The deficit is projected to reach 8.5 million units in 2021 if investment in the housing sector does not keep pace with the population growth projection.

  • Strategies for clustering of settlements/firms to maximize agglomeration effects

    Bangladesh has high population density in urban areas. Models on cluster and agglomeration behaviour of firms will provide boost to economic growth.

  • Innovative ideas to reduce traffic congestion and pollution (air, water, solid waste) in urban areas

    Rapid unplanned urbanization resulted in significant increase in transport demand which in turn has led to rapid growth in the number of motorized and non-motorized vehicles. Lack of adequate urban roads has given rise to extreme traffic congestion and pollution in the main cities adversely affecting growth and welfare.