Human Capital

FERDI focuses on human capital in developing economies from four research angles: health, entrepreneurship, digital development, and education.

Health systems in Africa and Asia. The objective of the FERDI program carried out in partnership with CERDI is to provide governments and their partners with elements that can contribute to decision-making which is economically feasible and socially and politically acceptable. Studies analysing the efficiency of health structures and accompanied by recommendations for decision-makers have so far been conducted, or are in progress, in seven African and Asian countries (Botswana, Burkina Faso, Niger, Zimbabwe, Cambodia, China, and Mongolia). These studies, conducted at the request of, and/or in collaboration with, ministries of health and their    external partners, demonstrate FERDI's ability to make a valuable contribution to thinking and decision-making on important health policy issues.

Fighting the Covid pandemic. Since the emergence of Covid, FERDI has been focusing on issues that are critical to fighting the pandemic and containing its effects: 1/ impact on mortality, 2/ impact on efficiency of health structures, 3/ household perceptions of the pandemic and attitudes towards vaccination, 4/ Vaccine availability in developing countries, particularly in Africa, 5/ Chinese support for health in Africa.

Entrepreneurship for African development. For several years, FERDI, in the framework of its partnership with Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P), has been advocating for the development of private enterprise by highlighting the social and economic impacts of SMEs in Sub-Saharan Africa and their role in the economic development of countries. In parallel, FERDI has developed a research program to better understand the dynamics of African enterprises. This work has made it possible to assess the role of digital technology in the growth of businesses in Africa and the dynamics of high-growth businesses in Senegal.

Digital Trust Chair. The objective of the FERDI Digital Trust Chair is to develop technological solutions to meet the needs, expectations, and economic interests of African countries.

Education. Ferdi's work focuses on the challenges and capacity for public and private investment in education. 

Achievements 2021-2022

  • New programs to analyse the efficiency of health structures, aimed at strengthening capacity and decision-making processes, have been initiated in Burkina Faso, Botswana, Niger, and Mongolia. They will continue throughout 2022.
  •  Training program on strengthening health systems and policies to combat infectious diseases with the support of the Government of Monaco. This training program initiated in 2018 will continue in 2021 and 2022 with new sessions. In 2022, the program offers "à la carte" tutored distance learning courses and a face-to-face session under certain conditions.
  • Study of international donors' support to private enterprises. This study was carried out in the context of the Summit on Financing African Economies held in Paris in May 2021 and was the subject of a webinar in May 2021. 
  • Study on growth entrepreneurship. This study is conducted for the International Organisation of La Francophonie.
  • Study on the digital divide and resilience to Covid-19 in the Francophone space. The Digital Trust Chair led this study for the International Organisation de La Francophonie.. This study will be presented in a parallel session at UNCTAD and the WTO during 2022 and 2023, and at the postponed Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (initially scheduled for the end of January 2022). A working paper (and associated brief) on the resilience of the SME fabric to Covid-19 digitisation has been produced, presented at a seminar, and submitted to an academic review. 
  • A draft book on mobile phones and development in Africa, co-edited by Jenny Aker and Joël Cariolle, has passed the refereeing process and been accepted by Palgrave Macmillan academic publishing. 
  • Chair on impact investment is being created. This Chair will contribute to the identification of actors and practices of impact investment on the African continent. Its activities aim to promote a relevant measurement of impact, and to analyse the financial instruments used.


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