Sustainable economic growth through evidence-based research and policy

In October, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded a $4.2 million grant to the International Growth Centre (IGC), based at LSE, for a new programme bringing researchers and policymakers together to support sustained poverty reduction in India. This is the first substantial philanthropic grant from the Gates Foundation awarded to LSE.

mountainIGC Executive Director Jonathan Leape talks about this new collaboration and how it will support IGC’s mission to promote sustainable economic growth in developing countries.

IGC, an organisation directed by LSE and the University of Oxford, works closely with governments in Asia and Africa to promote sustained and inclusive economic growth by providing demand-led policy advice based on frontier research. Drawing on 13 in-country offices and a network of 1,500 world-leading researchers, we collaborate with policymakers to identify critical gaps in policy knowledge, develop new research to address these needs, and apply these new ideas and evidence to policy decisions.

Our collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation represents an exciting new stage in IGC’s research and policy work in India. The three-year programme, entitled Building evidence, evaluation capacity and use, with an emphasis on Bihar, builds on the successes of our India programmes, one based in Delhi and another in Patna, over the past decade.

This new programme aims to increase the demand, use, and integration of high-quality evidence into policies and development programmes to support sustained poverty reduction in Bihar. We will achieve this through helping to develop an effective ecosystem of research, monitoring, and evaluation in Bihar by facilitating greater local institutional capacity across policymakers, researchers, and practitioners, and by catalysing transformational ideas as well as generating a substantial stock of evaluation knowledge. In alignment with the Gates Foundation’s work, this research will focus on issues related to health and development in Bihar.

Our partnership with the Gates Foundation in India represents an important step in increasing the sustainability of IGC’s funding model, adding to The Rockefeller Foundation grant we received in 2015 for our work supporting the national health system in Sierra Leone post-Ebola crisis. While IGC has been majority funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) since our founding in 2009, we appreciate the support of donors in allowing us to push into new areas and deepen our in-country engagements. 

Collaborating with new donors allows IGC to innovate, engage more policymakers, and have greater impact in our partner countries, ultimately enhancing our support to developing country governments in building their own paths out of poverty.


If you are interested in supporting the IGC’s valuable work in India please contact Samira Mezroui at