The Economic Research Center (ERC) set up by the Ministry of Economic Development (MoED), with technical assistance from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the Maldives, has been launched yesterday.
The ERC aims to bring about a paradigm shift in the way public policy is formulated in the Maldives by mainstreaming the use of data and innovation tools to address complex developmental challenges. The ERC will be dedicated to the development of data-driven policy research and will consciously integrate open dialogues to create mechanisms for policy representation and shared ownership with the public. The ERC also envisions positioning itself as a conduit for the transfer of knowledge and skills between global innovation centres and the Government, and the people of the Maldives.
Aligning with MoED’s policy mandate, ERC’s preliminary research agenda will focus on trade, investment, labour, SME’s and employment and will take on broader policy issues in the long- term. The research will catalyse profound shifts in policy debate and formulation in efforts to tap into opportunities and tackle major challenges such as economic instability; economic development and growth; and national and global productivity and inequality.
The ERC will work with government agencies, and stakeholders from the private sector, academia, civil society, and international organizations to unlock the value of data and drive sustainable development in the Maldives.
Speaking at the ERC launch, Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail stated, “The importance of sound and evidence-based policy research cannot be understated. There are multiple streams of data being collected at various levels of government and state institutions. This is critical information to policymakers but historically has never been in a form which is easily accessible. The Economic Research Center provides us with this opportunity to make informed decisions and measure policy outcomes through a much closer lens.”
The launching of ERC also coincides with the publication of its first knowledge product focused on labor market movement in the Maldives. This new report titled ‘Labour Market Dynamics in Post Pandemic Times’ compares the movement in employment prior to and after the COVID- 19 crisis at the sectorial level, exploring labour movements, and assessing the resilience and recovery in the labour market. The Report can be accessed at https://www.erc.trade.gov.mv/publication/labour-market-dynamics-in-post-pandemic-times