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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

The informal sector is a major source of income for the urban poor. Migrants play a critical role in the informal economy, yet the importance of their role is often overlooked. Two new studies supported by IDRC seek to address this gap.    ...
New research builds strong case for including informal migrant economies A gendered look at workplace mental health in ChileBuilding policy leadership among HIV/AIDS health workersImproving pain relief for children in ThailandReducing childhood obesity in Mexico

Latest Results

Chilean and Canadian researchers joined forces to investigate the impacts of paid and unpaid work on the mental health of Chilean workers, paying particular attention to gender issues. The researchers worked to encourage the introduction of policies...
New research builds strong case for including informal migrant economies A gendered look at workplace mental health in ChileBuilding policy leadership among HIV/AIDS health workersImproving pain relief for children in ThailandReducing childhood obesity in Mexico

Latest Results

Health workers need research, leadership, and policy skills to help create programs that respond effectively to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. This innovative multi-country collaboration sought to strengthen HIV/AIDS health systems in sub-Saharan Africa and...
New research builds strong case for including informal migrant economies A gendered look at workplace mental health in Chile Building policy leadership among HIV/AIDS health workersImproving pain relief for children in ThailandReducing childhood obesity in Mexico

Latest Results

​Children are more at risk than adults for untreated or undertreated pain from surgery, injury, and infections. This can include negative physical, psychological, and social consequences for both the young patients and their families. Children in...
New research builds strong case for including informal migrant economies A gendered look at workplace mental health in ChileBuilding policy leadership among HIV/AIDS health workers Improving pain relief for children in ThailandReducing childhood obesity in Mexico

Latest Results

In the past 20 years, overweight and obesity rates among Mexican children have increased by nearly 40%. As with many other low- and middle-income countries, Mexico is experiencing this “nutrition transition” as a result of changes in diet, nutrition...
New research builds strong case for including informal migrant economies A gendered look at workplace mental health in ChileBuilding policy leadership among HIV/AIDS health workersImproving pain relief for children in Thailand Reducing childhood obesity in Mexico
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