Victoria Delbridge

Victoria Delbridge is the Head of the International Growth Centre’s Cities that Work initiative. She is working with Paul Collier, Ed Glaeser, Astrid Haas and Tony Venables, to develop a network of economists, urban planning practitioners and policymakers to translate economic research into clear urban policy guidance. Victoria holds an MSc in Economics for Development from the University of Oxford, and a BSc in Environmental and Geographical Science and Economics from the University of Cape Town. Prior to her Masters at Oxford, Victoria was an economist at the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism in South Africa. Her current research areas include urban land use planning, public infrastructure and service provision, urban employment, municipal finance and city-level data strategies.

Content by Victoria Delbridge
  • Publication - Growth Brief

    Sustainable urbanisation in developing countries: Cities as places to innovate, trade, and work

    As the transition to a net zero global economy takes hold, there will be new opportunities for growth across a wide range of urban industries and services. City governments in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia need to proactively plan how they will leverage this to deliver on local productivity and job creation objectives. The climate crisis urgently calls for a new...

    20 Nov 2022 | Victoria Delbridge, Oliver Harman, Juliana Oliveira-Cunha, Tony Venables

  • Publication - Growth Brief

    Sustainable urbanisation in developing countries: Cities as places to live

    Climate change has presented cities with new challenges and opportunities for improving their liveability. If well-managed, cities offer both adaptation and mitigation benefits, as well as sustainable development opportunities, that other forms of living cannot. Climate change can no longer be ignored. Estimates suggest that inaction could cost the global economy between...

    21 Oct 2022 | Victoria Delbridge, Oliver Harman, Juliana Oliveira-Cunha, Tony Venables

  • Publication - Case study

    Renforcer les finances municipales : l’expérience de Kampala (Ouganda)

    La ville ougandaise de Kampala illustre bien la manière dont la réforme institutionnelle et administrative est en mesure, sans modification de grande ampleur des politiques publiques, d’augmenter considérablement les rentrées fiscales municipales. À travers la mise en place de systèmes informatisés plus efficaces, en attirant des personnels plus capables et en...

    19 Jul 2022 | Victoria Delbridge, Oliver Harman, Astrid Haas, Tony Venables

  • Publication - Case study

    Renforcer les finances municipales : l’expérience de Mzuzu et du Malawi

    Le cas de Mzuzu illustre la manière dont les villes secondaires sont capables d’innover et de montrer la voie en matière de réforme des finances municipales, alors même que leurs recettes fiscales sont extrêmement faibles et leurs moyens minimes. Mzuzu est la troisième grande ville du Malawi. La présente étude de cas se concentre sur un système d’évaluation...

    19 Jul 2022 | Victoria Delbridge, Oliver Harman, Tony Venables, Astrid Haas, Dyson Jangia

  • Publication - Case study

    Xoojinta booska maaliyadeed magaalooyinka: Caddayn laga sameeyey Hargeysa

    Magaalada Hargeysa, in kasta oo ay ku jirtay marxalad hore ee kor u qaadista maaliyadeeda, haddana waxay ku gaadhay dib u habeyn la taaban karo dhawr sano gudahood tan iyo markii la aasaasay dimoqraadiyadeeda 2002. Guulaha la gaadhay ayaa waliba ka sii cajaa’ib badan, iyada oo la tixgelinayo xaaladda jilicsan ee Somaliland ka dib 30 sannado oo colaado ay ka socdeen...

    19 Jul 2022 | Victoria Delbridge, Oliver Harman, Priya Manwaring, Astrid Haas, Tony Venables, Ahmedi Yusuf

  • Credit: Oliver Harman
    Publication - Case study

    Renforcer les finances municipales : l’expérience de Hargeisa (Somaliland)

    La municipalité de Hargeisa, capitale du Somaliland, a beau avoir commencé depuis peu à améliorer sa situation financière, elle a déjà mené à bien des réformes notables dans les quelques années qui ont suivi l’établissement de son statut démocratique en 2002. Les réussites sont d’autant plus remarquables au vu de la situation précaire du Somaliland...

    19 Jul 2022 | Victoria Delbridge, Oliver Harman, Priya Manwaring, Astrid Haas, Tony Venables, Ahmedi Yusuf

  • Publication - Case study

    Enhancing the financial position of cities: Evidence from Kampala

    The city of Kampala in Uganda provides an illustrative example of how institutional and administrative reform, without widespread policy change, can generate substantial increases in municipal revenues. Through the implementation of more efficient digitalised systems, attracting higher capacity staff, and a focus on the ‘citizen as a client’, the city has managed to...

    19 Jul 2022 | Victoria Delbridge, Astrid Haas, Oliver Harman, Tony Venables

  • Publication - Case study

    Enhancing the financial position of cities: Evidence from Hargeisa

    The City of Hargeisa in Somaliland, despite being in the very early stages of enhancing its financial position, has achieved significant reform in just a few years. The successes achieved are even more remarkable, considering Somaliland’s recognition as a sovereign state by the international community and resultant limited opportunity for international partnership’....

    19 Jul 2022 | Victoria Delbridge, Oliver Harman, Priya Manwaring, Astrid Haas, Tony Venables, Ahmedi Yusuf

  • Publication - Case study

    Enhancing the financial position of cities: Evidence from Mzuzu

    The case of Mzuzu in Malawi illustrates how secondary cities, where revenues are often low and capacity is limited, can innovate and lead the way on municipal finance reform. The focus of this case study is a simple and fit-for-capacity property valuation system that increased realised revenues seven-fold between 2013 and 2018. Explore the interactive case study here or...

    19 Jul 2022 | Victoria Delbridge, Oliver Harman, Astrid Haas, Tony Venables, Dyson Jangia

  • Publication - Case study

    Renforcer les finances municipales : l’expérience de Dakar

    Dakar est l’une des rares villes africaines qui se soit trouvée tout près de lancer un emprunt obligataire municipal sur le marché des capitaux. Initialement prévue pour 2014 et d’un montant de US$40 millions, l’opération était destinée à financer un nouveau marché couvert pour abriter les petits vendeurs ambulants. Le marché aurait regroupé plus de 4 000...

    19 Jul 2022 | Victoria Delbridge, Oliver Harman, Astrid Haas, Tony Venables, Khady Dia Sarr

  • Publication - Case study

    Enhancing the financial position of cities: Evidence from Dakar

    The city of Dakar in Senegal is one of the only cities in Africa to come close to taking a municipal bond to market. The US$40 million bond, set to launch in 2014, was designed to fund a new market hall for informal traders in the city. The market would relocate more than 4,000 street vendors, with the aim of moving them from side streets into a safe and central place to...

    19 Jul 2022 | Victoria Delbridge, Oliver Harman, Astrid Haas, Tony Venables, Khady Dia Sarr

  • Project

    Data and research as key enablers for city policy: A case study of Cape Town

    The City of Cape Town is widely recognised as a city that is making large strides in advancing the use of data and research in critical policy decisions including planning, implementation, and service delivery. This project seeks to document the use of data and evidence in policymaking in Cape Town over the past 20 years, since the Metro became a Unicity in 2000. The...

    20 Jan 2022 | Carol Wright, Victoria Delbridge

  • Project

    Digitalisation of local revenues in Malawi’s cities

    Malawi is still at the beginning of its urbanisation trajectory. As growth takes place and urbanisation increases, critical investments in infrastructure and service delivery will be required to ensure urban centres become engines of prosperity rather than sites of overcrowding and congestion. These investments require revenues, and recent reforms to improve local revenue...

    20 Jan 2022 | Lennart Fleck, Victoria Delbridge

  • Publication - Policy Brief

    Urban agriculture: a productive land-use for cities?

    As urban populations rapidly increase in the developing world, so do the challenges of feeding those who live there. This policy brief explores the ways that city governments can harness the benefits of urban agriculture, without disrupting the core purpose of a city of density and connectivity.

    12 Oct 2021 | Victoria Delbridge, Thierry Hoza Ngoga

  • Blog post

    Data for decision making in the COVID-19 crisis

    The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented global crisis. For governments to respond effectively, policymakers need quality data on the prevalence of the virus and its various social and economic impacts. There are now at least 55 million confirmed COVID-19 cases across the world, with over a million deaths. While the world has probably not experienced a pandemic of this...

    17 Nov 2020 | Zeeshan Abedin, Emanuele Brancati, Victoria Delbridge, Sebastian Kriticos, Hina Shaikh

  • Publication - Policy paper

    Using data to inform the COVID-19 policy response

    The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the biggest challenges the world has ever faced. Data can be used to target resources, forecast future needs, or evaluate decisions. Data collection should be guided by specific policy questions surrounding how to contain the disease, how to protect the vulnerable, and how to mitigate damage to economies. To better serve...

    17 Nov 2020 | Zeeshan Abedin, Emanuele Brancati, Michael Callen, Victoria Delbridge, Edward Glaeser, Sebastian Kriticos, Hina Shaikh

  • Blog post

    For the urban poor, trade may be the only lifeline during a pandemic

    Trade routes have been significantly disrupted with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. As formal firms reel under the consequent demand and supply shock, the urban poor engaging in informal trade with little social protection have been pushed further into the margins, and are struggling simply for survival.   The outbreak of the plague in Surat, India in 1994 claimed...

    29 Oct 2020 | Astrid Haas, Victoria Delbridge, Nikita Sharma

  • Blog post

    Rethinking regulations: Informal settlements in the time of COVID-19

    Informal settlements, given their high densities and lacking water and sanitation infrastructure, are potential hotspots for the spread of pandemics like COVID-19. To remedy this, upgrading informal settlements will be essential. However, for long term resilience, we need to tackle the regulatory challenges that keep formal housing prices unattainable for the urban...

    30 Jul 2020 | Astrid Haas, Victoria Delbridge

  • Blog post

    Crime and COVID-19: Lessons from Cape Town and Karachi

    The COVID-19 pandemic is a stark reminder of how vulnerable cities in the global South are to devastation by contagion due to poorly managed population density, resource deprivation, and maladministration. However, there is another epidemic that has been harming these cities for much longer: urban violence. The cities of Cape Town and Karachi, both historically plagued by...

    9 Jul 2020 | Victoria Delbridge, Zoha Waseem

  • Blog post

    Making policy decisions under uncertainty

    The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed policymakers to high levels of uncertainty: governments simply do not have enough information to know what to do. The result is changing policy decisions mid-course: Britain reversed its strategy of building herd immunity when a new estimate put the likely death toll from this strategy at 250,000 people; America’s Centres for Disease...

    23 Jun 2020 | Paul Collier, Victoria Delbridge, Shahrukh Wani

  • Blog post

    Urban agriculture: A viable safety net for the urban poor during times of crisis?

    One of the most devastating side effects of COVID-19 and the associated national lockdowns is the impact it is having on food access for the poor. Sub-Saharan Africa, with an already fragile food system, where rapid urbanisation and the rise of urban poverty pose substantial challenges to food security and nutrition, is likely to be hit the hardest. A simulation by the IGC...

    21 May 2020 | Thierry Hoza Ngoga, Victoria Delbridge

  • Blog post

    Behavioural economics of lockdown compliance: In search of lost time and well-behaved neighbours

    There are some crucial insights that behavioural economics and surrounding psychological evidence can bring to bear on public policies of a lockdown. Such insights are particularly pertinent to leveraging humans' 'predictable irrationality' in its design. Applying this evidence suggests that, where lockdowns are implemented, it might be better for policymakers to impose...

    4 May 2020 | Oliver Harman, Victoria Delbridge

  • Blog post

    Urban data innovations: Three cities showing their smarts

    Last year the International Growth Centre (IGC) co-hosted a policy workshop in Washington DC in the United States (US) with the World Bank, George Washington University, and the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) as part of the 6th Urbanisation and Poverty Reduction Conference. The theme was ‘Leveraging new data for better urban management and policies’. This year,...

    10 Feb 2020 | Victoria Delbridge, Oliver Harman

  • Blog post

    Land reform, redistribution, and risk: Towards an inclusive South Africa

    At the end of February 2018, a motion was put forward by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), a far-left opposition party, to revisit South Africa’s Constitution and amend it to allow for land expropriation without compensation. This motion was successfully passed, and subsequent public hearings across the country confirmed that there was resounding support from the...

    1 Nov 2018 | Victoria Delbridge