Improving the effectiveness of formal housing delivery in Tanzania

Promoting evidence-based practices to enable solutions scaling by business The operation of urban land markets in developing countries is critical to building sustainable cities. Sub-Saharan Africa is experiencing rapid urbanisation, pressuring cities with limited institutional capacity. Challenges include inadequate provision of housing, a proliferation of slums and rising inequality. Many African countries suffer from weak…

Dynamic household response to health shocks: The interaction of formal and informal debt

Understanding borrowing decisions to design suitable financial products The challenge Where social safety nets are not well developed or funded, a health emergency quickly becomes a financial emergency, potentially preventing individuals from fulfilling their potential as they struggle to meet mounting demands on small and uneven resources. Poor households, particularly those in developing countries with…

Foreign aid through domestic tax reforms?

Evidence from multinational firm presence in developing countries The challenge Multinational firms account for a significant part of resource allocation in the global economy. This is a particularly important issue in developing countries. Multinational firm investment in developing countries can often be associated with growth, however, these firms are often accused of exploiting local markets…

Education for all, occupational choice and business formation in Africa

Examining the success of school expenditure in terms of economic payoff Africa has witnessed an unprecedented increase in access to education in the past decades. Nonetheless, manufacturing employment is tiny, innovation is weak and many large corporations ‘complain’ that there is a skill shortage. Thanks to large-scale school construction throughout the continent, many more children…

Indirect marketing through adoption of home solar systems in East Africa

Evaluating a private-sector initiative to increase technology adoption Of the 14% of the world’s population that live without access to modern electricity, 95% live in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Studies have shown that clean-energy technologies such as solar-powered lighting and cook stoves can increase income and save household energy costs in emerging markets. Rooftop solar-technology…

Can user training increase technology adoption and enable women’s empowerment?

A field experiment on solar power adoption in off-grid Uganda Over a billion people live without access to modern electricity today, including 75% of the population of Uganda. Rooftop solar technology is providing a revolutionary alternative to grid-based electricity and has garnered great investor attention in the last few years, with studies showing that clean…

Ethnic favourtism in democracy

The political economy of land and labour in sub-Saharan Africa How resources and wealth are distributed among the population has fundamental implications for welfare. When markets and institutions fail, power relationships between groups shape allocation of resources and yield to inefficient outcomes. These issues are particularly salient on the African continent. Economic inequalities between ethnic…