Ritwika Sen

Ritwika Sen was formerly IGC Country Economist for Uganda.

She holds a B.A. (H) in Economics from the University of Delhi, and an MSc in Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Prior to joining the IGC, Ritwika worked as an Overseas Development Institute Fellow at the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources in Rwanda, focusing on aid coordination, planning & budgeting, and monitoring & evaluation.

Content by Ritwika Sen
  • Project

    Recovery from the COVID-19 shock and the informal labour market in urban Uganda

    As COVID-19 cases continue to escalate across developing countries, many governments reimposed harsh lockdown policies, reversing months of gradual economic recovery. In Uganda, public transport and non-essential businesses were suspended for 42 days, echoing a prior shutdown through April-June 2020. These restrictions significantly impacted the informal economy, where...

    5 Oct 2021 | Vittorio Bassi, Tommaso Porzio, Ritwika Sen, Esau Tugume, Jung Hyuk Lee, Alessandra Peter

  • Publication - Project Report

    The resilience of informal labour markets

    This project studies labour relations in informal economies where there are no written contracts, employment benefits, or protection for workers. ‘Informality’ is a defining characteristic of labour markets in most developing countries, making the study of employment relationships and related policy challenges especially difficult due to the paucity of administrative...

    20 May 2021 | Vittorio Bassi, Tommaso Porzio, Ritwika Sen, Esau Tugume

  • Blog post

    The resilience of informal labour markets: Insights from Uganda

    While the lockdown in Uganda resulted in a large but temporary shock to SME activity, mature labour relationships were highly resilient to the lockdown, and a large share of workers were able to temporarily engage in alternative income generating activities during the lockdown. On 30th of March 2020, the Government of Uganda implemented a hard lockdown for a 14-day...

    18 May 2021 | Vittorio Bassi, Tommaso Porzio, Ritwika Sen, Esau Tugume

  • Publication - Policy Brief

    The impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on SMEs and employment relationships in Uganda

    During 2020, governments in many developing countries introduced severe restrictions on economic activity and mobility to curb the spread of COVID-19. In Uganda, public transport and non-essential businesses were closed from early April to June 2020. This policy brief reports on the results from a phone survey of a representative sample of SMEs and their workers...

    6 May 2021 | Vittorio Bassi, Tommaso Porzio, Ritwika Sen, Esau Tugume

  • Project

    COVID-19 and the value of relationships in informal economies

    Governments in many developing countries have put in place restrictions to economic activity and mobility to curb the spread of the coronavirus. This is true also in Uganda, where public transport and non-essential businesses were closed from early April to June. While firms were closed, there were reports of workers leaving cities and traveling back to their home villages....

    18 Feb 2021 | Vittorio Bassi, Esau Tugume, Ritwika Sen, Tommaso Porzio

  • Publication - Policy Brief

    Understanding productivity dispersion: Evidence from a new survey of manufacturing firms in Uganda

    There are large productivity differences across firms in developing countries, even within the same sector and region. Understanding what contributes to such differences in productivity is important for designing policies to help low productivity firms grow. This project implemented a representative survey of over 1,000 manufacturing firms in Uganda to quantify...

    30 Jan 2020 | Vittorio Bassi, Raffaela Muoio , Joshua Mutambi, Tommaso Porzio, Ritwika Sen, Esau Tugume

  • Project

    Quality upgrading and contract enforcement in Uganda's coffee sector

    There has long been interest in the process of structural transformation, moving from subsistence agriculture to the production of manufactured goods (Lewis, 1954). Improving the value of agricultural exports is often considered an important first step in this process. More broadly, there has been growing interest in quality upgrading in developing country markets and firms...

    3 Dec 2019 | Ameet Morjaria, Lauren Falcao Bergquist, Ritwika Sen

  • Publication - Project Report

    Understanding productivity dispersion: Evidence from a new survey of manufacturing firms in Uganda

    19 Sep 2019 | Vittorio Bassi, Raffaela Muoio , Joshua Mutambi, Tommaso Porzio, Ritwika Sen, Esau Tugume

  • Project

    Reviewing Uganda’s 2017 National Export Action Plan

    Uganda’s Export Promotion Action Plan prioritises export-oriented growth to attain middle income status by 2020. In April 2017, the Uganda National Planning Authority (NPA) invited the IGC to review the Export Promotion Action Plan. According to the NPA, the IGC’s recommendations informed not only the Export Action Plan, but a number of other policy papers ...

    16 Jan 2019 | Ritwika Sen, Richard Newfarmer

  • Publication - Policy Brief

    Opportunities in Uganda’s Arabica value chain

    Coffee is an important part of the Ugandan economy, stably generating around 15% of export earnings for the past 15 years, even as other exports have risen. Uganda produces 1% of the world’s Arabica crop, but while its production is increasing and is highly competitive, it has been overlooked by trade and consumers. The project explored two policy options for...

    7 Jan 2019 | Ameet Morjaria, Martin Sprott, Jenny Scharrer, Ritwika Sen

  • Project

    Responding to the US threat to remove AGOA preferences - Rwanda

    The second-hand clothing ban in the East African Community (EAC) is a policy whose proposed goal is to spur the development of the local EAC apparel industry. The U.S. Administration, under President Donald Trump, has threatened to remove trade preferences that are provided to EAC countries under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) if they do not reverse the...

    29 Oct 2018 | Garth Frazer, Victor Steenbergen, Ritwika Sen

  • Project

    Responding to the US threat to remove AGOA preferences - Uganda

    The second-hand clothing ban in the East African Community (EAC) is a policy whose proposed goal is to spur the development of the local EAC apparel industry. The U.S. Administration, under President Donald Trump, has threatened to remove trade preferences that are provided to EAC countries under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) if they do not reverse the...

    23 Aug 2018 | Garth Frazer, Victor Steenbergen, Ritwika Sen

  • Project

    Firm-level technology adoption and investment in training

    In developing countries, firms produce using technologies farther away from the frontier, and workers have lower education and formal training. It has long been argued that skills and technology are complementary (see, for example, Foster and Rosenzweig 1996). As a result, the lower skill endowment of workers may reduce the incentives of firms to invest in technology, and...

    22 Feb 2018 | Vittorio Bassi, Tommaso Porzio, Esau Tugume, Ritwika Sen, Raffaela Muoio

  • Publication - Working Paper

    Reform of the EAC Common External Tariff: Evidence from trade costs

    16 Nov 2017 | Ben Shepherd , Jaime de Melo, Ritwika Sen

  • Project

    Reform of the EAC Common External Tariff

    The Common External Tariff (CET) of the East African Community (EAC) is due for potential reform in November 2017. Manufacturers associations in the large EAC countries are pressing for additional tariff bands and greater protection, with the stated aim of promoting backward linkages and value chain development. This direction is dangerous in a dynamic sense, as it sets the...

    16 Nov 2017 | Ben Shepherd , Jaime de Melo, Ritwika Sen

  • Publication - Policy note

    Agricultural transformation and urbanisation in Uganda

    20 Jan 2017 | Douglas Gollin, Ritwika Sen

  • Publication - Policy Brief

    Maximising the impact of FDI on domestic industrial capabilities and job creation

    The prospective benefits from FDI for a host country, in terms of spillovers for technology transfer and quality upgrading, are not automatic or guaranteed. Governments need to play a proactive role to harness these benefits by linking multinational corporations (MNCs) and local suppliers through market enhancing measures to reduce informational asymmetries and...

    20 Dec 2016 | Ritwika Sen, Sarah Logan