Print all priorities

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.

Filter research priorities

Filter results by:

Country

Research Theme

  • Understanding the constraints to effective land use and planning in Ghana

    Land ownership and titling are often cited as constraints to effective land use and planning. With improvements to the land titling process there is an interest in studies that address questions around the impact of having a effective land titling administration on land use, city planning, property markets etc.

  • Understanding the effects of decentralisation on urbanisation

    The number of Districts (local government areas) in Ghana has increased from 110 in 1994 to 216 currently with the aim of “bringing development closer to the people” through development.  The studies required in this area should look at measuring the contribution of decentralisation and the creation of new districts to development and urbanisation.

  • Improving connectivity within Ghanaian cities for increased productivity

    For a city to support high and continues growth in productivity of its inhabitants, it must continue to make it easy for people to move around and connect with job and other opportunities.  The studies required in this area include those that examine the determinants of traffic in the cities – such as road networks, public transport, road usage etc.

  • Improving grid services and cost recovery

    One of the challenges of building a secure and reliable power grid in the emerging economies is tariff under-recovery: tariffs are generally not cost reflective and many consumers default. As a result utilities lack adequate financial resources to maintain and upgrade the power grid, which in turn, provides a pretence for some consumer groups to default or resist necessary tariff reviews.

     

    We will therefore support innovative and policy relevant research proposals which look into the area of tariff recovery and improved grid services.

  • Technical and behavioural energy efficiency

    It is widely acknowledged that energy efficiency technologies and measures have high social and private benefits. The government of Ghana has rolled out a number of measures to promote energy efficiency technologies such as the introduction of LED bulbs and the refrigerator rebate. Currently the government is operating a policy regime where only appliances that meet minimum efficiency and performance standards are allowed into the market. However, the environmental and economic impacts of these interventions have not been consistently evaluated.

     

    IGC Ghana will support proposals which seek to vigorously evaluate the social and private net benefits of such interventions, the findings of which could be used to underpin further interventions either in Ghana or elsewhere.

     

    In addition, we are interested in studies which explore insights from behavioural economics to “nudge” energy efficiency and conservation further in Ghana.

  • The economics of under-grid and off-grid rural electrification in Ghana

    At 80%, Ghana has one of the highest accesses to electricity in Africa. In addition to the grid expansion, the Ministry of Power is piloting mini-grid electrification projects on a number of remote Islands with plans to roll out further mini-grid projects in the future.

     

    We are interested in two strands of research on rural electrification. First, we would like research to shed light on the economics and policy implications of extending electricity to the “under grid” households, (i.e. households which, per definition, have access but are not connected to the grid).

     

    The second strand relates to mini-grid electrification projects. We are interested in research projects which will work closely with officials of the Ministry of Power to study the impacts of mini-grid electrification on wealth and employment outcomes of the Island communities.

  • The economic cost of unserved electricity

    In a span of three decades, Ghana experienced five episodes of power crises with increasing duration and severity. The government together with various stakeholders is working to arrest the situation. However, the first step in determining the optimal level grid expansion and tolerable level and durations of power outages is an understanding of the socio-economic costs of unserved energy.

     

    IGC Ghana will appreciate studies which estimate the costs of unserved energy to the various sectors and to the economy as a whole.

  • Infrastructure, output market access and agricultural sector performance

    Anecdotal evidence suggests that lack of easy access to output markets due poor infrastructure is one of the challenges hindering the agricultural sector performance.

     

    To what extent is infrastructure a systematic constraint on agricultural transformation in Ghana? More specifically, has the construction of major roads such as the Eastern Corridor road improved the agricultural production, marketing and economic diversification? IGC Ghana is interested in proposals which seek to answer these or similar questions.

  • Technological adoption and agriculture sector growth

    Agriculture plays a central role in employment creation as 44.3 percent of the currently employed population work in the sector. However, the sector remains dominated by smallholder enterprises with little adoption of modern farming practices and technologies such as improved seeds, fertilizer and mechanization.

     

    IGC research in Ghana and India shows that availability of insurance markets led farmers to invest more and also served to establish the existence of a demand for agricultural insurance in some regions. We suspect the absence of efficient markets for other inputs are hindering the adoption of modern technologies and agricultural sector growth in Ghana. We will welcome studies aimed at uncovering the challenges of the sector and proposing actionable policy measures to address same.

  • Firm dynamics and job creation

    Youth unemployment is a major concern in Ghana. There exists suggestive evidence that job growth and hence employment opportunities for the youth are driven by the emergence and entry of new firms as well as reallocation of resources from less productive to more productive firms.

     

    Understanding the pace of business dynamism or lack of it thereof, uncovering the constraints to effective resource reallocation and the policy options to overcome the identified constraints are critical for addressing the high level of youth unemployment in Ghana. Proposals focusing on the firm dynamic-job creation nexus are of interest to us.

  • Improving service delivery in the public sector

    The studies required in this area include, studies that look at measuring and understanding the constraints to improving the performance and productivity of public servants.

     

    It also includes studies that look at how to improve the delivery of services like education, health, security, etc by the public sector.

  • Understanding the constraints to local government revenue mobilisation

    While internally generated funds (IGF) collected by local governments in Ghana are generally low, there is also a large variation in the IGF collected across the various local governments. Why are IGFs collected by local governments so low? What accounts for the large variation in the IGF?

     

    Studies that look at answering some of these questions will contribute to our understanding of what can be done to improve revenue mobilisation at the local government level.

  • Improving connectivity within Ghanaian cities for increased productivity

    For a city to support high and continues growth in productivity of its inhabitants, it must continue to make it easy for people to move around and connect with job and other opportunities.  The studies required in this area include those that examine the determinants of traffic in the cities – such as road networks, public transport, road usage etc.

  • The Economic cost of unserved electricity

    In a span of three decades, Ghana experienced five episodes of power crises with increasing duration and severity. The government together with various stakeholders is working to arrest the situation. However, the first step in determining the optimal level grid expansion and tolerable level and durations of power outages is an understanding of the socio-economic costs of unserved energy.

    IGC Ghana will appreciate studies which estimate the costs of unserved energy to the various sectors and to the economy as a whole.

  • Formalizing the informal sector: Barriers and the ways forward

    According to the latest Ghana Living Standard Survey (GLSS 6) 41.9 percent of the Ghanaian labour force is employed within the non-farm informal sector. The firms in the informal sector are generally small and unproductive. Moreover, World Bank’s Enterprise Survey suggests there is little movement from informality to formality.

     

    IGC Ghana will support studies that delve into firm level data to shed light on determinants of low productivity in the informal sector and to identify possible ways to improve productivity and employment across the sector. We are also interested in supporting proposals which seek to identify the obstacles to formalisation and policy measures to facilitate formalisation.

  • Improving tax policy and tax administration in Ghana

    It is the aim of government to find innovative ways of increasing tax revenues in a progressive way without overburdening the current tax payers. This requires studies that look at improving both tax policies and tax administration.

     

    In particular looking for better ways to tax and collect appropriate taxes from the large informal sector.