IGC highlights 2014

Throughout the past year, the IGC’s 15 Country Programmes and 4 Research Programmes, as well as our events and online engagement, have helped generate high quality research and policy advice on key growth challenges. Many of our Ideas for Growth have had a significant impact upon policy discussions in developing countries and beyond and have influenced the thinking of organisations including the World Bank and the United Nations.

Below we provide examples of 10 of our best articles and publications from 2014:

Financing Africa’s Future
The costs of doing business in Africa have historically been great, but the socio-economic achievements witnessed over the last decade are considerable. The African Development Bank’s large appetite for infrastructure projects proves that investing in Africa is now a very attractive proposition.
By Donald Kaberuka

The economic implications of Ebola
The recent outbreak of Ebola in West Africa has generated much speculation about the likely impact of the outbreak and the measures taken to control it on growth and the appropriate policy response. However, hard data is difficult to come by. In response, the IGC is conducting three surveys in Liberia and Sierra Leone to measure the economic implications of the Ebola crisis.
By Rachel Glennerster, Eric Werker, Tavneet Suri & Herbert M’cleod

The Bihar Story: Resurrection of the State
In the not so distant past, the Indian state of Bihar was a byword for corruption, lawlessness, poverty, and absence of governance. Over the last decade or so, the state has demonstrated a remarkable turnaround and has consistently been amongst the fastest growing regions in the country.
By Jitan Ram Manjhi

Evaluating policy reforms to reduce corruption
When we think about trade barriers hindering developing countries, we often think of tariffs and regulations. However, IGC research suggests another hidden cost, corruption at border posts, plays a significant but underappreciated role in hindering trade and development.
By Sandra Sequeira

Why housing is key to Africa’s development
Over the past half-century Africa has been the most rapidly urbanising region on the globe – but that urbanisation has been seriously dysfunctional. A good city provides people both with better employment opportunities and a better quality of life than in rural areas. African cities generally provide neither. Housing policy is the single most important factor in Africa’s economic development. It needs to be elevated to the highest political level.
By Paul Collier

Marketing ‘improved cookstoves’ to combat indoor air pollution
Indoor air pollution created by burning fuel in traditional cookstoves is thought to be a principal cause of acute respiratory infections in children worldwide and is also an important contributor to climate change. Despite these hazards, half of the world’s population continue to rely on traditional stoves for cooking. Although simple ‘improved cookstoves’ that reduce these hazards exist, efforts to promote their adoption have proven ineffective. This study analyses the determinants of low demand in developing countries for ‘improved cookstoves’ – a technology which has substantial benefits for population health and the environment.
By Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak & Grant Miller

Employee personalities and public sector performance
Governments are the primary provider of services for the poor in developing countries. Yet these services are often inefficient. Evidence suggests that, in addition to financial incentives, employee personality tests can help improve public service delivery.
By Michael Callen, Saad Gulzar, Yasir Khan & Syed Ali Hasanain

Basic entrepreneurship: A big new idea in development
The world’s poorest people lack both capital and skills. They tend to engage in low-skilled wage labour activities that are insecure and seasonal in nature. Any attempt to alleviate extreme poverty on a large scale must therefore involve thinking about occupational change and how this process is linked to a lack of capital and skills.
By Oriana Bandiera, Robin Burgess, Narayan Das, Selim Gulesci, Imran Rasul & Munshi Sulaiman

Switching to sanitation in South Asia: A study of health technology
Good sanitation is crucial for peoples’ health and financial prosperity, and thus their country’s economic growth. This IGC study examines the characteristics of Indian households that have improved their own sanitation to provide an in-depth understanding of why, despite its importance, progress towards increasing access to sanitation has been extremely slow.
By Diane Coffey & Dean Spears

Female empowerment in the Bangladeshi garment industry
A slew of industrial accidents have cast the Bangladeshi garment industry in a negative light. Whilst it is the responsibility of government, factory owners and international brands to do everything in their power to guarantee decent and safe working conditions within the factories, more actions can be taken.
By Filippo Sebastio