Economic & public policy analysis

There is increasing consensus that achieving more inclusive and environmentally sustainable economic growth is essential for global prosperity.  The vast majority of the world’s population live in developing countries, where living standards remain significantly lower than those enjoyed by people living in the developed world.  Governments and donor agencies recognise that there is an ever-increasing need for innovative solutions and well-coordinated policies to enable more inclusive growth and ultimately to improve the living standards of people living in developing countries.

We are passionate about supporting our clients in the ongoing drive for more inclusive and sustainable economic growth, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. We apply our expertise in applied economics, strategy, statistical and econometric modelling, and behavioural science to improve the design, implementation and monitoring of public policy instruments and mechanisms.

Our experts have experience in advising governments and multi-lateral donors and private firms on the design and efficacy of a range of policy instruments and mechanisms across the health, energy, and trade sectors.

In terms of energy policy, we have provided our clients with insight into:

  • Carbon taxes: we drafted a response on behalf of the energy-intensive users’ group to the initial discussion paper the National Treasury published on the proposed design and introduction of a carbon tax in South Africa.
  • Electricity prices: We have modelled the impact of rising electricity prices on the South African economy and researched policy options to mitigate the impact on the most vulnerable consumers (energy-intensive trade-exposed).
  • Electricity subsidies: We compared the economic impact of alternatives to fund Eskom’s revenue shortfall – which included increasing tariffs or providing higher implicit tariff subsidies– (financed with government debt or equity).
  • Energy-efficiency: we assessed the net economic impact of introducing minimum energy and performance standards for general household lighting to phase out inefficient electric lamps for the DoE and UNDP.

In the financial services sector:

  • Financial inclusion: We developed a conceptual framework to illustrate the role that increasing financial inclusion can play in enabling faster and more inclusive economic growth in selected Asian and African countries.

In terms of health sector policy, we have advised on:

  • Alcohol excise duties: we examined the impact of excise duties on alcohol sales and in reducing alcohol-related harm and have previously advised Brandhouse and SA Breweries on issues relating to the optimal design of excise tax policy.
  • Childhood blindness: we advised a health-sector consultancy Broad Reach on their approach to a cost-benefit analysis of interventions to reduce childhood blindness in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Nutritional stunting: we provided an assessment of the data available to measure the causes, prevalence and outcomes of nutritional stunting in South Africa and the options available to the DG Murray trust to launch a stunting scorecard or index

Through our professional network we have access to and frequently draw on the expertise of world-renowned academics at leading universities and schools of public policy.  We are also able to draw on the experience of senior executives with industry-specific when required.

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