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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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  • Employment and wage trends and urban-rural linkages

    Our recent report on Promoting Job-rich urbanisation indicates that Zambia in recent years has experienced a large drop in agricultural employment; an increase in the share of employment in urban areas, social and personal services, hospitality and construction; increase in the share of informal employment; and declining real monthly wages. What is the dynamic driving these trends? What is the impact across regions and across cities? How does it affect productivity?  What is the potential for rural-urban links to be strengthened to benefit employment in both areas?

  • Examining the potential for employment growth in Zambia’s Secondary and Tertiary cities

    Projections indicate that the largest growth rates in the urban population will be observed in Zambia’s tertiary and secondary cities.  What is driving this trend? What are prospects for employment generation in these cities under different assumptions? Can these cities offer economic opportunities and basic services to the growing populations? Are the local authorities in these areas equipped to managed this transition?

  • Will devolution have effects on local industrial policy to create such Tier 2 cities and what can county budgets support in terms of the infrastructure investments needed?

  • How do we develop Tier 2 cities in Kenya?

  • More research around the demand for energy, both on the household and the firm side