From protectionism to automation to climate change, today’s global context is changing. What does this mean for the development strategies countries choose to pursue? This blog, the first in a series of five, looks at how today’s context should influence our thinking. 

New political forces, embracing economic ideologies that had been dormant for decades, are on the ascent in many of the main tradin...

February 6, 2018

Conflict has a long shadow, and its role in inhibiting development is clear. Today, a billion and a half people live in countries affected by fragility, conflict, or violence (World Bank 2011). The important decisions individuals make in their daily lives – where to travel, where to live, where to work – are all haunted by the spectre of violence. Not only does personal safety suffer, but so too d...

January 26, 2017

A policy paper outlining some of the main urban challenges facing Myanmar. Read more here

October 4, 2016

Myanmar, like other developing countries, will continue ramping up its energy production to meet growing demands for consumption. This blog argues that fuelling economic growth requires expanded electricity access and reforms to pricing structure and policies for Myanmar.

Economic growth requires energy. Energy fuels industry and manufacturing, improves livelihoods, and connects markets. Consuming...

May 5, 2015


Super Typhoon Haiyan – the strongest recorded storm at landfall, and unofficially the strongest typhoon ever measured in terms of wind speed – rattled into the Philippines and Southeast Asia in November of last year. Haiyan was unprecedented, with the highest sustained gusts measuring in at 315 km/h (195 mph). For a country in this region, typhoons are a regular occurrence, but usually they are o...

Are all graphs the same? Expand the timeframe long enough, and history might lead you to believe so. The best word to describe the dynamic behaviour of the world economy and its impact on natural systems is ‘exponential’.  In 2007 the first global-scale census of deep ocean ecosystems found a direct relationship between biodiversity in these ecosystems and their ability to function. Rapid biodiver...

March 18, 2015

Almost one in two people alive today owe their continued existence to the findings of a German chemist, Fritz Haber.

Hyperbole? Perhaps not. In 1909 Haber invented the first method to produce synthetic (inorganic) fertilisers on an industrial scale. The Haber-Bosch process synthesises ammonia from nitrogen and hydrogen gases in the atmosphere; the oxidation of ammonia creates components necessary f...

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