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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

  • 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.