Jonathan Bower

Jonathan Bower is a Country Economist at the IGC in Rwanda. He holds an MSc in Development Economics from SOAS, University of London (with Distinction) and a Bachelors degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from St Hugh’s College, University of Oxford. Prior to joining the IGC, he spent three years in Rwanda working in policy research administration and resource mobilization at peacebuilding organisation Aegis Trust. In 2010-2013 he was an Overseas Development Institute Fellow, then Resource Economist focusing on agriculture, at the Land Resources Division in Secretariat of the Pacific Community. His research interests include urban spatial development, affordable housing, infrastructure, municipal finance, and firm productivity.

Content by Jonathan Bower
  • Project

    Mapping urban pandemic risk hotspots and overcrowding in Rwanda

    As Rwanda's COVID-19 count enters a period of relative stability due to a highly effective public health response, policymakers are turning their attention to the best way to lift social-distancing restrictions in a manner that allows businesses and social engagements to resume while simultaneously ensuring adequate public health. Key questions for the government in...

    6 Aug 2020 | Anirudh Rajashekar, Jonathan Bower

  • Blog post

    Rwanda’s response to COVID-19 and future challenges

    Containment efforts have been effective; however, an impending global recession means the economic impacts of the pandemic will continue to be felt. In Rwanda, as of 19 May 2020, there have been 297 cases of COVID-19, of which 94 are active. There have been no deaths. These statistics are remarkable for the low number of cases and the fact that there have been no deaths so...

    19 May 2020 | Jonathan Bower, Derek Apell, Anna Twum, Umulisa Adia

  • Publication - Policy Brief

    A road map for e-mobility transition in Rwanda

    Electric vehicles (EV) are gaining popularity among both governments and the private sector globally as an energy efficient mobility technology and the Government of Rwanda (GoR) embraces the fact that their expansion is now inevitable, as they aim to scale up their nascent e-moto industry. The researchers recommend e-mobility be implemented in the context of a wider...

    13 May 2020 | Jitendra Bajpai, Jonathan Bower

  • Publication - Policy Brief

    Optimal construction permit fees for Rwanda

    To successfully manage rapid urban growth and its attendant challenges, and to implement effective development control, municipal authorities need to increase revenue from construction permits and other sources. Rwanda’s ranking in the Dealing with Construction Permits subcomponent of the World Bank’s Doing Business index is rising, but the Government is keen to...

    4 May 2020 | Paida Hlambelo, Jonathan Bower, Umulisa Adia, Fred Mugisha

  • Publication - Miscellaneous

    Creating opportunity from crisis: Raising worker productivity during the pandemic

    Rwanda’s coronavirus “lockdown”, which began on Sunday 22nd March 2020, requires that a large number of people suddenly work from home. This has become increasingly common globally: across the EU, around 17% of employees work from outside their employer’s physical premises using ICT tools; however, working from home (WFH) is a much newer phenomenon among...

    27 Mar 2020 | Jonathan Bower

  • Publication - Working Paper

    Using machine learning and remote sensing to value property in Rwanda

    18 Feb 2020 | Paul Brimble, Patrick McSharry, Felix Bachofer, Jonathan Bower, Andreas Braun

  • Publication - Policy paper

    Housing policies in Rwanda: Riding the urbanisation whirlwind

    3 Feb 2020 | Jonathan Bower, Robert Buckley

  • Publication - Policy Brief

    Density, connectivity and liveability: Linking the Kigali Master Plan to economic development

    The 2013 Kigali Master Plan has contributed to Kigali becoming one of the most liveable and green cities on the continent. However, it has been criticised for being disconnected from economic planning, by being overly rigid, unevenly regulated and unaffordable for households and businesses to implement. Whilst the Kigali 2018 Master Plan Review is on course to do...

    15 Jan 2020 | Jonathan Bower

  • Publication - Working Paper

    Six key trends in housing conditions in Rwanda from 2011 to 2017

    5 Dec 2019 | Jonathan Bower, Umulisa Adia, Theres Lessing

  • Publication - Policy Brief

    Housing need in Kigali: Findings and policy reflections

    16 Jul 2019 | Jonathan Bower, Sally Murray

  • Publication - Project Report

    Housing need in Kigali

    10 Jul 2019 | Jonathan Bower, Sally Murray, Robert Buckley, Laura Wainer

  • Project

    Housing need in Kigali

    The Government of Rwanda would like to understand the quantity of housing need in Kigali, and to update it from an earlier 2012 study conducted by the European Union, as well as to understand how to expand low-cost housing. This project estimates: i) the quantity of housing needed in Kigali, Rwanda; and ii) the purchasing power of tenant and mortgage-holding...

    8 Jan 2019 | Jonathan Bower, Sally Murray, Robert Buckley, Laura Wainer

  • Publication - Policy Brief

    Improving teacher management and professional development: A survey of the policy landscape in Rwanda

    An important policy question in Rwanda is how can schools attract, motivate, develop, and retain skilled teachers who will deliver positive learning outcomes. The centralisation of the hiring and teacher allocation process, proposed to take place in the 2018/19 school years, provides an opportunity to address the challenges associated with this policy question. ...

    7 Jan 2019 | Andrew Zeitlin, Jonathan Bower

  • Publication - Policy Brief

    Harnessing the potential of ICT for education in Rwanda

    The Government of Rwanda’s Education Sector Strategic Plan describes the use of information and communications technology (ICT) in general as “fundamental” to achieving the socio-economic development outlined in Vision 2050, and its use in education as “critical”. Technology in education has significant potential to increase equality of access to and use of...

    7 Jan 2019 | Andrew Zeitlin, Jonathan Bower

  • Blog post

    Challenges and choices in the Rwandan education system: R3 roundtable discussion

    Education is a vital part of any economic growth strategy. However, implementation in Rwanda must overcome a number of challenges including dropout rates, nutrition, teaching hours, teacher recruitment and management, and the need to develop a reading culture. In this blog post, Jonathan Bower describes presentations by researchers from Laterite and from Georgetown...

    7 Jan 2019 | Jonathan Bower