Expert commentary from our network

How to build a data revolution

This year UNU-WIDER is launching several video series to highlight the wide span of policy-relevant work undertaken by the Institute and its worldwide network. Mini-documentaries and interviews with experts in key contexts, like South Africa and now Viet Nam, have shed light on how research can be used to inform policies that promote inclusive growth. Our new video series, How to build a data revolution, takes a close look at how the Vietnam Access to Resources Household Survey (VARHS) is...

A letter from Maputo

Tony Addison and Kyle McNabb on a conference panel in Maputo. Photo: UNU-WIDER
It’s early July and I’m back in Maputo, Mozambique, looking over the calm sea at the boats that fish the waters for the seafood that makes visiting this part of Africa such a treat. The sunset here is a delicate combination of pale turquoise, light grey, and warm pink. Coming from the Finnish summer, where we have 18 hours of light in Helsinki, it comes as surprise when the sun sets at around 6:00 pm in the southern African winter.  I’m inevitably drawn back to my...

Building the learning agenda

by Nana Mensah Abrampah
Improving the delivery of quality health services is messy! Vast amounts of knowledge and experience is being generated daily. We need to help capture this knowledge and experience — both the explicit knowledge that can be easily identified, captured and transferred, as well as the tacit knowledge that is often difficult to identify, capture and transfer. We cannot assume that knowledge generated at the local level will spread through the various structures at the sub-national and...

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Research Brief
Oil in Ghana: How inflated expectations of oil revenues led to a deterioration in macroeconomic management April 2017

Prior to the discovery of oil, Ghana was one of the stars of the ‘Africa rising’ story, with an established track record of macroeconomic stability and fiscal discipline...

Oil Ghana extractives industry
Microsimulation models for developing countries: An interview with Jukka Pirttilä

The University of Tampere is participating in an international project in which a microsimulation model is being drafted for the evaluation of the price effects of taxation and the transfer of income in developing countries...

Tax microsimulation Public finance
Opening the vault: Data, research, and improved policymaking in South Africa

Policymakers often work in the dark, as they try to make real impact on people’s lives. If you don’t have good data, being worked on by good researchers, it can be hard to know whether efforts are truly making a difference...

Tax data firms
Feeding southern Africa?: Growing the animal-feed-to-poultry regional value chain

In 2016 the South African poultry sector faced intense pressure from two sides in the form of much higher input costs and increased imports of low-priced chicken from the European Union and the USA...

Regional value chains Competitiveness
Estimating tax avoidance: New findings, new questions

There are now a range of estimates of the global scale of tax avoidance. These include: the $600 billion annual tax loss estimated by IMF researchers Crivelli et al...

tax avoidance Tax Multinational firms
Affirmative action policies and South Africa’s racial wage gap

Racial wage inequality and discrimination have pervaded South African society for centuries. Apartheid legislation cemented these disparities by institutionalizing white job reservation and many other unfair practices...

Affirmative action Discrimination apartheid
Employing young people in South Africa: What role has the Employment Tax Incentive played?

South Africa has some of the highest rates of joblessness in the world and youth unemployment is particularly severe. Roughly two in five young South Africans who want work cannot find it, according to labour force surveys...

youth unemployment tax incentive South Africa
WDR 2017 does not disappoint: Four implications for work in development

As a political scientist specializing in the comparative politics of development, including particular attention to issues of governance and democracy, I have followed this year’s World Development Report with special interest...

World Development Report Good governance Group-based inequality
Four graphs you need to see on International Women's Day

International women's day presents a good opportunity to consider how far we've come towards achieving gender equality, and to recognize how far we still have to go...

Tackling gender inequality from all directions

Improving the position of women continues to be an important concern in development...

Gender equality Development aid Interventions
Missing school years for girls: The case of the Assam insurgency

Girls in India face many challenges. From the moment they are conceived, they are less likely to be born as compared to boys. This presence of “missing girls” appears to be linked to access to ultrasound technology ...

Education Conflict
Research Brief
Mining as a spur to regional growth and industrial development in southern Africa February 2017

Driven by rapid growth in mining and related infrastructure investment, exports of machinery and equipment from South Africa to other Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries more than quadrupled from 2003 to 2013...

National system of innovation Linkage development Human capital and industrialization
Research Brief
Community development planning: Success and failure in the extractive sector February 2017

A central difficulty for extractive activity is that benefits accrue at the national level but disruptions are highly localized. Companies recognise that these imbalances need to be addressed and adopt active programmes to improve local benefits...

Extractives Capacity building community development
A two-way street: Regional integration in southern Africa through supermarkets

Walk into any supermarket and you will find a mix of products to stock the kitchen. It’s easy to assume that many of the goods on offer are sourced locally and from nearby countries...

Regional growth Africa Supermarkets
How big supermarket chains in southern Africa keep out small suppliers

A shopper prepares to pay at an informal shop in Soweto, South Africa. Smaller retailers are struggling to grow. Supermarkets are a key route to market for many suppliers of food and household consumable products...

Supermarkets Growth Economic development
Leading economists agree: closing borders is not the answer to inequality

Building a great big wall will not close the gap. Jorge Duenes/Reuters US President Donald Trump wants to build a wall along the US-Mexican border. Britain wants to retreat into its shell to become an isolated island state ...

Inequality immigration Refugees
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