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ODI Nexus

Inclusive, Sustainable Economic Transformation

Joining up policy can be challenging. Economic transformation, sustainability, and inclusion are all objectives pursued by many governments and international agencies separately, but rarely are they well joined up. ODI’s 4 year programme, supported by Sida, sets out to explore the synergies and trade-offs among these three objectives, with a view to showing how a more integrated landing space for joined up policies can be achieved and how to overcome the obstacles along the way.

In ODI this brings together researchers in International Economic Development (see the focus on structural economic transformation), Climate and Sustainability, Global Risks and Resilience and Equity and Social Policy in a collaborative effort to solve this knotty problem. We all bring our separate knowledge bases and ideologies to bear, and are focused on the trade-offs and synergies among these objectives.

The challenge

Our initial analysis of cross country indicators suggests that very few if any countries have been progressing evenly on all three objectives.

We are attempting to identify relative success stories for a Compendium of Successes, but these can be hard to identify at a national level.

We are developing a Theory of Change – what needs to happen to achieve more joined up policy making?

We have begun to test out this theory of change in Kenya through a stakeholder workshop and now some research. Kenya has a fantastic base for achieving sustainable economic development – its energy sector is largely based on renewables – a massive transformation from 2000 when drought and widespread and prolonged power outages led to a reassessment of the sector. Now we are working at the local (county) level to see what advantages this brings in achieving inclusive and sustainable economic transformation. This builds on previous collaborative work on inclusive economic transformation.

We are beginning to identify a Community of Interest, of people who work to deliver at the intersections of inclusiveness, sustainability and economic transformation. If you are interested in being part of that community of interest please get in touch with Andrew Shepherd on [email protected].

Plans for the immediate future include publishing the above, holding public meetings and webinars, extending our work to Bangladesh, and an analysis of what global climate funds are doing to promote inclusive, sustainable economic transformation.


ODI Staff


  • Professor Njuguna Ndungu

    African Economic Research Consortium, Kenya

  • Elvin Nyukuri

    University of Nairobi, Kenya

  • Wamuyu Gatheru