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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

In February 2015, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) in Ghana hosted a succession of briefings on gains made in promoting transparency and accountability, factors affecting economic growth, and the public’s perception of socio-economic and...
Think Tank converts knowledge into change in GhanaResearch calls for preventive approach to gender-based violence in SenegalHarnessing demographic change for economic growth in AfricaWomen and militarization in South Asia: Media Research FellowshipsMinimum wages aren’t always the best way to improve social welfare

Latest Results

Despite laws and a constitution that guarantees gender equality, women in Senegal still experience high rates of violence. Critics point to an ineffective legal system that doesn't focus on prevention, where police rarely intervene, and where few...
Think Tank converts knowledge into change in Ghana Research calls for preventive approach to gender-based violence in SenegalHarnessing demographic change for economic growth in AfricaWomen and militarization in South Asia: Media Research FellowshipsMinimum wages aren’t always the best way to improve social welfare

Latest Results

The impact of demographic change on economic growth in Kenya and South Africa is the focus of two articles published in the 2014 Policy in Focus magazine. The two studies were conducted by the National Transfer Accounts (NTA) network, which IDRC has...
Think Tank converts knowledge into change in GhanaResearch calls for preventive approach to gender-based violence in Senegal Harnessing demographic change for economic growth in AfricaWomen and militarization in South Asia: Media Research FellowshipsMinimum wages aren’t always the best way to improve social welfare

Latest Results

Panos South Asia and IDRC are working together on “Bringing Women’s Voices into the Mainstream: A Media Research Fellowship on Women and Militarization in South Asia.”  The project aims to improve the conditions of women living under the shadow of...
Think Tank converts knowledge into change in GhanaResearch calls for preventive approach to gender-based violence in SenegalHarnessing demographic change for economic growth in Africa Women and militarization in South Asia: Media Research FellowshipsMinimum wages aren’t always the best way to improve social welfare

Latest Results

For most countries, raising the minimum wage has long been considered a way to protect poor workers and their families. In fact, this active labour market intervention is a common social protection policy in many Latin American countries. But how...
Think Tank converts knowledge into change in GhanaResearch calls for preventive approach to gender-based violence in SenegalHarnessing demographic change for economic growth in AfricaWomen and militarization in South Asia: Media Research Fellowships Minimum wages aren’t always the best way to improve social welfare
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