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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

  • Pricing electricity

    Balancing willingness to pay with social costs of generation; improving reliability and quality of supply

  • Rural electrification

    Accessing electricity (covering costs, organisational challenges); measuring demand for electricity; welfare and economic effects of electrification

  • Mitigation and adaptation strategies to reduce adverse climate change impacts

    Bangladesh situated in the lower Gangetic delta is highly vulnerable to climatic changes. Migration due to climatic changes along the coastal belt, delayed monsoon, rise in temperature in urban areas etc. have started to be manifest all over the country.

  • Developing power trading markets within Bangladesh and among South Asian countries

    In recent years, the expansion of generation capacity along with expansion of transmission and distribution networks helped achieve considerable progress for power sector –to 13280 MW in Oct 2016 (BPDB).


    Notwithstanding this progress, there are major areas of concern in the power and primary energy sector. Framework to initiate intra-agency and cross border power trade will be helpful. Similarly improving efficiency in power generation through unbundling of the different components of power production – generation, transmission and distribution will help attract public–private partnership investments in the sector.

  • Rural electrification

    Although electrification has enormous potential to support transformative growth in rural areas, connecting rural areas to electricity often entails some acute challenges. These areas typically face low willingness (or ability) to pay, low population density, and high costs of infrastructure investments and operation. The IGC is interested in exploring solutions to support the electricity needs of households and businesses in rural areas, including distributed energy systems and mini-grids.