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Social and Economic Policy
Creating an environment for change

Public policy can help reduce poverty and promote more inclusive growth. But to be effective, policies must be supported by the citizens they are meant to serve. And they must be based on evidence.

IDRC’s Social and Economic Policy program works to help developing countries create strong, informed policies and the right environment for change.

To do so, we support research focused on

  • building accountable states and empowering citizens
  • promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth
  • strengthening independent policy research organizations

Gender is central to all our programming. Within our programs, we also fund applied research to gain new insights into the ways in which information and communication technologies are transforming development and associated policies.

Through our work, we collaborate with developing-country researchers and policymakers to

  • build a solid, self-sustaining base of research and evidence
  • support and communicate research findings on issues of immediate policy concern
  • support public accountability by helping researchers and policy research institutions to participate in local, national, and international policy debates

Our research thrusts

Governance for Equity in Health Systems

IDRC’s Governance for Equity in Health Systems program funds research in developing countries that helps to redress health inequities and improve health services, systems, and policies, for all.

Governance, Security, and Justice

The GSJ program investigates how best to increase the legitimacy and accountability of public authorities in the areas of governance, security, and justice.

Growth and Economic Opportunities for Women

The GrOW program supports research that generates new evidence on women’s economic empowerment, gender equality, and economic growth in low-income countries of sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. 
Baby being weighed on a scale

Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa

This program seeks to improve maternal, newborn and child health outcomes by strengthening health systems to become more equitable, using primary health care as an entry point.

Safe and Inclusive Cities

Jointly funded by IDRC and the UK’s Department for International Development, SAIC supports experts from around the world to find out what works — and what doesn’t — to reduce violence in urban centres.

Supporting Inclusive Growth

​This program seeks to determine how economic growth can increase opportunities for the poor and marginalized and reduce inequality.

Think Tank Initiative

​This multi-donor program aims to strengthen independent policy research institutions – or “think tanks” – in developing countries.
 

Latest Results

As its economic growth rate slows, China also faces a widening rural-urban divide and increasing income inequality. To confront these challenges and prepare for the next planning cycle, China’s top economic planning agency invited the Asian...
China’s next economic plan focuses on peopleResearch findings are catalyst to nationwide rollout of HIV prevention program in BotswanaNew global study points to higher returns for lower fertility Finding decent jobs for Peru's youthCanadian initiative leading the way for equitable health systems and improved maternal, child health

Latest Results

Remarkable new research into HIV prevention among the "choice disabled" — vulnerable groups less able to make the right choices to protect themselves — has led to a nationwide rollout of three intervention programs in Botswana. Three years...
China’s next economic plan focuses on people Research findings are catalyst to nationwide rollout of HIV prevention program in BotswanaNew global study points to higher returns for lower fertility Finding decent jobs for Peru's youthCanadian initiative leading the way for equitable health systems and improved maternal, child health

Latest Results

While low fertility and aging can challenge government social safety nets, a new global study published in Science suggests that modest population declines can improve standards of living.In many countries, couples are having fewer babies – or none...
China’s next economic plan focuses on peopleResearch findings are catalyst to nationwide rollout of HIV prevention program in Botswana New global study points to higher returns for lower fertility Finding decent jobs for Peru's youthCanadian initiative leading the way for equitable health systems and improved maternal, child health

Latest Results

There is an urgent need for solid research and policy guidance to tackle youth employment challenges in Latin America.In the region almost 9 million youth are unemployed. Regionally, for every three young workers, two are employed in precarious...
China’s next economic plan focuses on peopleResearch findings are catalyst to nationwide rollout of HIV prevention program in BotswanaNew global study points to higher returns for lower fertility Finding decent jobs for Peru's youthCanadian initiative leading the way for equitable health systems and improved maternal, child health

Latest Results

For more than a decade, IDRC has supported a large number of researchers, research networks, and global institutions in their efforts to build stronger, more equitable health systems. Equipped with strong evidence, IDRC grantees are leading the way...
China’s next economic plan focuses on peopleResearch findings are catalyst to nationwide rollout of HIV prevention program in BotswanaNew global study points to higher returns for lower fertility Finding decent jobs for Peru's youth Canadian initiative leading the way for equitable health systems and improved maternal, child health
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