Strengthening public policies and institutions is fundamental to longer term growth and development.
As an organisation, we're uniquely capable of managing research programmes on the interface between world-class research and decision making on economic policy and reform. We pride ourselves on our ability to both translate policy and reform challenges into researchable questions, and to then translate research findings back into policy analysis and debates; this is a distinctive feature of our experience and expertise. We currently run three major research programmes:
- Researching on Improving Systems of Education
- Economic Development and Institutions
- Energy and Economic Growth Applied Research Programme
The Oxford Policy Fellowship
A key part of delivering policy impact is the effectiveness with which we can develop and sustain relationships with policy stakeholders in the countries in which we work. For this the Fellowship programme is important; but in addition, developing relationships with policy stakeholders through policy engagement activities under the research projects also matter.
The Oxford Policy Fellowship supports governments in overcoming the unique issues they face, by providing them with demand-led technical assistance. We source high performing early-career advisors to work within current government systems and processes for two years so that their work contributes to ongoing policymaking, rather than creating parallel structures for getting things done.
We help expand OPM as a thinking organisation, with original and relevant ideas that respond to development policy challenges and potential clients priorities. We engage in three main activities:
- synthesising and co-ordinating research outputs across OPM in order to maximise synergies and develop the original thinking that takes place within the company;
- building networks between OPM and academic researchers in order to promote debate and identify future collaborations; and
- the conducting of original research within the team to directly address development issues that are relevant to OPM’s work and impact.
One of our major thought leadership activities has been centred on industrial policy, increasingly a key priority for many developing countries and currently the subject of intense debate in academic and policy circles. Building upon collaborations with academics in the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford, and London, we research different theoretical perspectives on industrial policy, and relate them to policy work and OPM projects. A highlight has been Umar Salam’s work on the ‘product space’, in which he provides an alternative characterisation of Hausmann’s concept of economic complexity and uses it to challenge perspectives on diversification and production. This paper was delivered in the Centre for Development Studies at Cambridge this term and will be delivered at Oxford next term. In addition, we were recently delighted to welcome visiting scholars from DIE (the German Development Institute) to speak on green industrial policy.
Developing new innovations, which are unique to our organisation, is also one of our team's core functions. These include combining our experience to be able to establish systems for the use of mobile phones for accountability in public service delivery, or for cracking the challenge of setting up successful special economic zones. We innovate by harnessing the expertise across the organisation, to test and develop new ways of solving development challenges.