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Innovation and economic transformation in low-income countries: a new body of evidence

Research reports

Written by Linda Calabrese, Dirk Willem te Velde, Steve Wiggins

Hero image description: Textile factory in Mazar-e Sharif, Afghanistan, 2019 Image credit:ILO/Andrew Quilty Image license:CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Policy-makers in low-income countries are increasingly aiming for a different and higher-quality type of growth. This growth should be more technology intensive, with a diversified production structure, be resilient to shocks, create jobs and be more inclusive.

Crucial for this is enhancing economic transformation, defined as the movement of resources from low-productivity to high-productivity activities. However, empirical evidence on how much is already happening and how to enhance this process is often scarce or lacking altogether in low-income countries.

This report synthesises the latest and most relevant research from the DFID-ESRC Growth Research Programme (DEGRP) on innovation, putting it in context within an emerging body of evidence on economic transformation.

 Textile factory in Mazar-e Sharif, Afghanistan, 2019
Linda Calabrese, Kunal Sen, Dirk Willem te Velde, Chisom Ubabukoh and Steve Wiggins