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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

  • Public service delivery with specific focus on civil service capabilities

    There is a growing need to better understand the role of public service delivery in a transforming economy that grows more complex with a broadening public-private transaction base. Particular areas of focus include, but are not limited to, coordination of public service delivery, motivation and incentives of public servants, and impact evaluation of process changes. Other topics related to effective public service delivery will also be considered.

  • Taxation and improving revenue collection

  • Macroeconomic stability

    Mozambique has recently experienced a debt and currency crisis. Policy advice in the area of macroeconomic stability is particularly important for Mozambique at this point in time.

  • 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.