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A typical Ugandan woman gives birth to an average of seven children, far higher than for other countries, including neighbouring Kenya and Tanzania. There are many factors that push Ugandan woman to give birth to many children. For instance, low levels of schooling of women in Uganda often result in early marriage and early pregnancy. Inadequate access to family planning services, as well as cultural pressures that reward women for having many children, also contribute to Uganda’s high fertility rates.

Cognisant that previous infrastructure projects ended up as “crumbling remains” (Ostrom, 2000) because their beneficiaries failed to maintain them after the donors withdrew, development programmers adopted so-called Community-Driven Development (CDD) projects.  The basic idea was to increase infrastructure investments that the recipients most valued. Moreover, to overcome the collective action problems inherent in maintaining these public goods after the donors left, the programmes were designed also to increase the social capital stock.

With over 400 deaths in Liberia and more than 1,000 across West Africa, the Ebola epidemic has been the deadliest in history and has spread fear and panic across the region. But beyond the terrifying health crisis, the Ebola outbreak threatens to reverse much of the economic and social progress Liberia has made over its decade of peace.

The study presented here sheds new light on the link between the occurrence of weather shocks and violence by looking at the case of Sudan and South Sudan. Using geographically-disaggregated data from 1997 to 2009, it finds that higher temperatures greatly affect the risk of conflict. The analysis also highlights possible channels of the climate-conflict nexus suggesting that competition over natural resources is one of the main drivers in a region where pastoralism constitutes the dominant livelihood.


Regular and reliable electricity supply is crucial for industrialisation and economic development. Despite Nigeria being one of the largest primary energy producers in the world, she still struggles to generate adequate electricity for her teeming population and to support her economy. At the moment, Nigeria generates about 5000 MW for her population of over 160 million people. This is completely ridiculous when compared to South Africa that generates over 40,000 MW for her 52 million populations.

Intermediaries that assist individuals and firms with the government bureaucracy are common in developing countries. In a recent paper in the Journal of Development Economics I focus on their role as time savers, and study the impact on citizen welfare and red tape, with non-trivial results. I then use the model to analyse the impact of bureaucracy reform on intermediary usage. I apply the analysis to a Brazilian bureaucracy reform that has served as inspiration for other countries.

Model of bureaucracy intermediaries