24 November 2015 | Lord Turner on finance and inclusive economic transformation

This content is blocked. Accept cookies to view the content.

At the height of the global financial crisis in 2008/9, as the then chairman of the Financial Services Authority, Lord Turner argued that the City in London’s financial sector had become ‘socially useless’. In the following years, he played a leading role in the redesign of global banking regulation as Chairman of the International Financial Stability Board’s major policy committee. In his latest book Between Debt and the Devil: Money, Credit and Fixing Global Finance (Princeton), he explains how our addiction to private debt has caused a global financial crisis.

How can we fix finance so that it is socially useful and helps to transform developing economies? How did the financial crisis affect developing nations and how can they ensure economic growth without sanctioning debt?

At ODI, the Supporting Economic Transformation (SET) and the DFID-ESRC Growth Research Programme (DEGRP) programmes are working on issues such as how the financial sector can be managed so that it contributes to inclusive economic transformation.

The book will be available for sale and Lord Turner will be signing copies after the event.


Dr Dirk Willem te Velde Director, Supporting Economic Transformation (SET) and Research Lead, DFID-ESRC Growth Research Programme (DEGRP)


Lord Adair Turner – Former Chairman, Financial Services Authority

Stephany Griffith-Jones – Professor IPD, Columbia; Senior Research Associate, ODI and Lead Researcher, DFID-ESRC Growth Research Programme (DEGRP)


12:00 – 12:30: Lunch

12:30 – 13:05: Introduction, keynote and comments

13:05 – 14:00: Q&A


Two page key points from book

Event report

Related content:

ODI/DEGRP project: Financial regulation in low-income countries

DEGRP Policy essays: Sustaining growth and structural transformation in Africa


Photo credit: Jonathan Ernst

6 October 2015 | Shaping Tanzania’s Second Five Year Development Plan

The Government of Tanzania, through the President’s Office Planning Commission (POPC), has begun the process of preparing the second Five Year Development Plan (FYDP II) (2016/17 – 2020/21) focusing on the theme “Nurturing an Industrial Economy”. The POPC hopes to conclude the plan by June 2016.

The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) is providing analytical support to aid this process through its Supporting Economic Transformation (SET) programme. On Tuesday 6th October 2015, a workshop was convened in Dar es Salaam on  to provide an opportunity for the POPC to outline their initial thinking and to enable discussion on emerging priority areas and potential means of implementation for the FYDP II, both informed by background research undertaken by the ODI and REPOA.

The workshop brought together a diverse range of stakeholders from both the public and private sectors in Tanzania and provided a valuable opportunity for consultation which was less prevalent in the first FYDP. Download the event report below.

SET Tanzania FYDP II Workshop Report

Stakeholders Presentation

SET Presentation


Photo credit: REPOA

23 September 2015 | Understanding Economic Transformation in Africa

This content is blocked. Accept cookies to view the content.

Overseas Development Institute, London

Where do we go wrong, and what do we need to do differently to understand economic transformation in Africa?

Morten Jerven’s recent book “Africa, why economists get it wrong” questions what we really know about growth and economic transformation in Africa. He argues that mainstream economists have not used appropriate methodologies or sample periods, used data without critically assessing them, and focused on the wrong policies.

This event organised by ODI’s Supporting Economic Transformation (SET) programme discussed where we are going wrong and what should we be doing differently if we want to properly understand the prospects of economic transformation in low income countries. What are appropriate research methodologies, what data can be used, and what do we know about policies and institutions for economic transformation?

After an introduction to the main points in Jerven’s book, a number of speakers discussed the main questions: Blandina Kilama is an expert on economic transformation in Tanzania, Nick Crafts is a world leading authority on economic history, and Louise Fox is a leading voice on employment and labour markets in Africa.


Dirk Willem te Velde – Director, Supporting Economic Transformation, ODI


Morten Jerven – Associate Professor in Global Change and International Relations, Norwegian University of Life Sciences; Associate Professor, School for International Studies, Simon Fraser University

Blandina Kilama – Senior Researcher, REPOA, Tanzania

Nick Crafts – Professor of Economics and Economic History at the University of Warwick

Louise Fox – Visiting Professor, University of California, Berkeley


Morten Jerven Event Report

Understanding Eco Transformation- Blandina Kilama

Jerven’s book on African growth in 10 points Dirk Willem te Velde

Comments on Jerven and Economists in the Tropics Louise Fox

Africa-why economists get it wrong-Jerven-ODI 2015


Photo credit: UNU-WIDER

2 July 2015 | Trade, Global Value Chains and Economic Transformation

Overseas Development Institute, London.

Economic transformation involves the movement of factors of production toward higher productivity and/or value addition firms or sectors. It has traditionally been assessed through the degree of export diversification, taken as an outcome of the process.

Trade can support this process, e.g. through its impact on firm competitiveness – access to cheaper and better quality inputs, and opportunity to take advantage of economies of scale. The literature on global value chains (GVCs) further suggests a new way of looking at economic transformation (which was traditionally seen as moving from agriculture to manufacturing and services). Integration in global production networks allows countries to unlock their comparative advantage, but rather than focusing on producing all parts of the entire chain, it is now possible to focus on specific tasks and sub-sectors.

The discussion focused on the following questions:

  • Under which circumstances does trade openness foster export diversification through GVCs?
  • What are the determinants of GVC integration?
  • How and under which circumstances GVCs integration spills over beyond integrated sector and benefits the domestic economy, thereby supporting a sustained economic transformation?
  • What are the trade policy implications at the domestic, regional and global levels?


Download Agenda.

Download PPTs.

Download Report.

23 June 2015 | Dani Rodrik: The future of economic transformation in developing countries

Leading economist Dani Rodrik shed light on the future of economic transformation in developing countries. For years, developing countries have tended to transition from agriculture to manufacturing to services. Yet recent evidence suggests that countries are running out of industrialisation options much sooner than expected.

Overseas Development Institute, London.

This content is blocked. Accept cookies to view the content.

Leading economist Dani Rodrik shed light on the future of economic transformation in developing countries.

Economic transformation is needed for the type of growth that leads to poverty reduction. It leads to growth that generates income across the income distribution, is robust against price shocks and price cycles, and increases the opportunities and options for future economic growth.

Focusing on economic transformation involves understanding what determines growth and productivity at the micro and macro level. For example, how can resources be shifted to higher-value uses? How can diversification of a country’s productive capabilities, including exports, be encouraged?

But economic transformation in low-income countries is changing. For years, developing countries have tended to transition from agriculture to manufacturing to services. Yet recent evidence suggests that countries are running out of industrialisation options much sooner than expected. Is this a cause for concern? Or are there opportunities in agriculture and services that are just as effective at generating growth and ending poverty?


Download Agenda

Download PPTs

Download Report

Watch the Event Video

Media Coverage

The Broker Online, 30 June 2015

Oxfam blog, 26 June 2015

15 June 2015 | China’s Special Economic Zones in Africa and how they support economic transformation

Overseas Development Institute, London.

Dr Tang Xiaoyang, Associate Professor of International Relations at Tsinghua University discussed  China’s engagement with Africa through an analysis of  China’s Special Economic Zones in Africa and how they support economic transformation followed by a Q&A session.

Download the PPT.

28 April 2015 | Kenya As A Services Hub: The Role Of Services In Economic Transformation

Intercontinental Hotel Nairobi.

Public and private sector representatives met to discuss the potential for Kenya to become a services hub. The workshop assessed the role of services in economic transformation and job creation in Kenya, and included an in depth discussions of two services sectors – the IT enabled services and financial services sectors.

The aims were to (i) examine Kenya as an example of services-led transformation (ii) examine what needs to be done to raise Kenya’s services sector to become a regional and global services hub; (iii) examine the costs and benefits of a services-led approach to economic transformation and employment vis-à-vis an agriculture or manufacturing-led approach.


Download Agenda

Download Concept Note

Download Event Report

Download Power Point Presentations




Media Coverage

Daily Nation, 28 April 2015

Xinhua News Agency, 28 April 2015

Standard Media, 29 April 2015

30 January 2015 | Using And Analysing Data For Economic Transformation

ODI, London.

Experts from DFID, ODI, the World Bank, IMF, University of Groningen and Harvard Kennedy School discussed different data sources and methodological approaches for analysing economic transformation, with a focus on economic structures and trade data – as part of the SET data portal work.

The workshop addressed the following key questions: what are the key issues in data for economic transformation? What else needs to be done in the near future for SET data analysis? And, what are the economic transformation data gaps in the medium term?

Download Agenda

Download Event Power Point Presentation

Download Event Report