The International Growth Centre (IGC) is a research centre run as a partnership between the London School of Economics and Political Science and the Blavatnik School of Government.

Programme overview

The IGC directs a global network of world-leading researchers and country teams in Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East, working closely with partner governments to generate high-quality research and policy advice on key growth challenges. It receives the majority of its funding from the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), and has support funding from the Gates Foundation and the Argidius Foundation, among others. 

The IGC’s aim is to promote sustainable growth in developing countries, focusing on what it has identified as the four key drivers of growth: state effectiveness, productive firms, liveable cities and reliable energy access. Research teams work with policymakers within the country to identify the major challenges to growth and establish priorities for overcoming them. The IGC’s approach recognises the importance of demand-led, in-country research for informing policy decisions.

Founded in 2008, the IGC is led by Executive Director Jonathan Leape, alongside Directors Robin Burgess (Professor of Economics at the LSE) and Paul Collier (Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government).


The State Fragility initiative develops and promotes actionable recommendations to address the issue of state fragility. It builds on the work of the LSE-Oxford Commission on State Fragility, Growth and Development. Reducing State Fragilities has established the Council on State Fragility, composed of eminent world leaders who will build consensus on new approaches among major international institutions and countries affected by conflict and fragility; it also supports the DFI Fragility Forum, a forum of almost 30 development finance institutions working collaboratively to increase the effectiveness of their operations and investments in fragile contexts.

Cities that Work is an IGC initiative that builds on work to translate economic research and practical insight into clear urban policy guidance. The Cities that Work Council is chaired by Ed Glaeser (Harvard) and is made up of Mohammed Adjei Sowah (Mayor of Accra), Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr (Mayor of Freetown), Paul Collier (Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford), Jonathan Leape (IGC), Jennifer Musisi (Executive Director, Kampala Capital City Authority), Naison Mutizwa-Mangiza (Director, Regional Office for Africa, UN-Habitat), Shoaib Rahim (Acting Mayor of Kabul), Tony Venables (Oxford), and Astrid Haas (Cities that Work Manager, IGC).