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
  • 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