Policy makers in the developing world (and elsewhere) face big questions about how best to promote economic development and often lack the evidence and technical capacity to address them. While government departments may already have staff with important skills, knowledge and experience, they are often lacking the numbers of staff necessary. The technical staff available often have limited exposure to international best practices: a deficiency UNU-WIDER can help them overcome via its demonstrated ability to network with policy makers and researchers across regions and via its investment in communication
targeted to policymakers. Policy makers also face policy questions for which there is little rigorous research – or for which theresearch focus is more on the global North and is less relevant to their specific country setting. With the challenges of a growing population who will need more jobs and prosperity, coupled with the existing challenges of poverty, inequality and tight government budgets, the need for policy-relevant research in developing countries is critical – and for this,developing countries need to increase their capacity.
Against this backdrop, the Institute supports researchers, including early career, from developing countries to bring their work and insights to the attention of the global research community and to the larger policy audience. This facilitates building skills and confidence, and strengthens research in what are often difficult and isolated national situations. An integral part of UNU-WIDER’s academic excellence programme are the UNU-WIDER Visiting Scholars and Visiting PhD Fellowship Programmes, UNU-WIDER’s collaboration since 2014 with the University of Ghana in offering a PhD programme in Development Economics, the summer school programme on applied labour economics launched in 2019, the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC): Industrial Policy and the Challenge for Africa, and the institutes engagment in the joint course in development economics for master’s level students in Helsinki, offered by the Helsinki Graduate School of Economics (GSE).