Policy Impact

I make my research relevant to policymakers by:

  1. Formulating research questions driven by the practical concerns of policymakers
  2. Cooperating closely with government in research design and execution
  3. Developing underused administrative data sources, to build up existing systems

The project database I created to study local government infrastructure delivery in Ghana has now been adopted by the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) for use in its National Infrastructure Plan and ongoing monitoring work. The Director-General of the NDPC has repeatedly cited the research findings in various media forums (see below). Geocoding of the project database is currently underway in order to allow the project to be used in the implementation of the national Spatial Development Framework.

Here is an IGC Policy Brief on my infrastructure delivery research. It presents three insights about why some projects fail, and gives three lessons for policymakers about how to improve infrastructure delivery.

Ghana’s Head of Civil Service has made my research on management and productivity in Ghana’s Civil Service a cornerstone of his evidence-based approach to developing a reform program for the Government, and at his request I have twice conducted workshops for policymakers and other stakeholders at Ghana’s Civil Service Training Centre. I have also given invited research presentations at the Overseas Development Institute and UK Department for International Development.

Research citations by policymakers and media

The International Growth Centre features two of my projects as Impact Case Studies in its 2015-16 Annual Report (pdf)

Director-General of Ghana’s NDPC cites my research showing that one-third of local government infrastructure projects are abandoned mid-construction, 20th October 2015 (pdf)

Director-General of NDPC discusses my research on Ghana’s Citi FM Breakfast Show, 5th August 2015 (audio – starts at 0:22)

Overseas Development Institute infographic uses statistics from my research on infrastructure delivery in Ghana (website)

“The Political Economy of Unfinished Development Projects” featured in the Center for Global Development’s “What We’re Reading” newsletter, 1st April 2016

“The Political Economy of Unfinished Development Projects” cited in This Week in Africa newsletter, 1st April 2016

Policy reports from recent research

Policy brief: “Bricks and Mortar Institutions Matter: Project Delivery and Unfinished Infrastructure in Ghana’s Local Governments” International Growth Centre, November 2015. (pdf)

Working Paper: “Bricks and Mortar Institutions Matter: Project Delivery and Unfinished Infrastructure in Ghana’s Local Governments”. International Growth Centre, May 2015. (pdf)

“There Is More Than One ‘Public Sector Way’: The Diversity of Management Practices in Ghana’s Government”. November 2013. (pdf)

“Different Problems, Different Solutions? Budget Performance and Practices in Ghana’s Ministries”. November 2013. (pdf)

Cash transfers and social protection in South Africa

“The Social and Economic Impacts of South Africa’s Child Support Grant.” Cape Town: Economic Policy Research Institute Working Paper #39 (extended version) and #40 (short version).

With Michael Samson et al: “Quantitative Assessment of Families in South Africa.” Project report prepared by the Economic Policy Research Institute for the South African Department of Social Development, February 2008.

With Michael Samson et al: “Review of Targeting Mechanisms, Means Tests and Values for South Africa’s Social Grants.” Report to South African Department of Social Development, July 2007.