Developing economies are growing rapidly, but the benefits of growth are often fragile and unevenly distributed. Persistent poverty and increasing income inequality can lead to political instability and stunted economic growth, especially in the wake of unexpected disruptions that disproportionately impact lower-income populations. We need inclusive economies that provide economic opportunities for all and allow current – and future – citizens to flourish.

Dalberg helps countries and regions develop inclusive growth agendas and programs where all people can benefit from, and participate in, economic growth. Dalberg’s inclusive economic development experts work with businesses, investors, and policymakers to identify market-based solutions that fuel economic growth while promoting social inclusion.


 Our Expertise:

  • Competitive analysis. Through desk and field research, we determine a country or region’s competitive edge and performance gaps, and we pinpoint new sectors in which local conditions and capabilities are most conducive for development.

  • Design of policy and regulatory frameworks. In a primarily interview-driven approach, we understand the most problematic constraints on economic growth, and we recommend concrete changes that can produce more favorable policies and regulatory environments for our clients.

  • Strategy and investment planning. We create action and investment plans that help clients raise capital, access new markets, and engage relevant authorities, companies, and policymakers to ensure business opportunities for inclusive growth attract the public and private attention, oversight, resources, and expertise they need to move forward.

  • Leadership and change management. Through interviews, policy research, and based on our experience, we figure out what is and is not working in the institutional ecosystem for inclusive growth. We create a new vision together with each client, and we build a pathway for change through a participatory process that aligns stakeholder incentives and empowers local champions of the country’s or region’s growth strategy.

  • Development of resilience strategies. We integrate a resilience lens into our economic growth strategies to ensure countries can withstand unexpected shocks, such as natural disasters or international economic crises, and avoid or help reverse day-to-day stresses, such as pre-existing conflict dynamics.


Client Success:

The government of Ethiopia was at risk of not meeting the ambitious targets of its five-year Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP I), including an 11-15% growth in GDP and accession to the World Trade Organization. To ensure Ethiopia could achieve the goals laid out in the plan, the Korean International Cooperation Agency engaged Dalberg to support Ethiopia’s Ministry of Industry in identifying high-potential sectors that could serve as engines for the country’s economic growth.

Our Approach

We began by applying customized diagnostics to find new product and export opportunities in three key industries that align with Ethiopia’s competitive advantage and resources: textiles and garments, leather and footwear, and food processing. Our team then interviewed government, business, and policy representatives to understand the constraints that could keep these industries from growing. Throughout the industry and policy research and interviews, we focused on the role of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). In-depth industry consultations with SMEs showed us what regulatory environment and support small businesses need to develop and sustain competitive advantages in each industry.

We presented our recommendations to the client in the form of an action plan, with recommendations on specific initiatives proposed to remove growth constraints, jumpstart development, and ensure even the smallest businesses in each industry will thrive.


The action plan we created was reviewed by the Ministry of Industry and used to inform a range of actions to accelerate achievement of targets set in GTP I, as well as actions defined in the next Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II) for 2016-2020. The action plan jumpstarted the creation of a number of initiatives, including strengthening the industrial policy planning unit within the Ministry of Industry, creating the Ethiopian Industrial Parks Development Corporation, and updating regulatory framework to grant allowances to foreign investors in targeted industries.

To learn more about our work, see our insights or contact:

Paul Callan, Abu Dhabi or

Jordan Fabyanske, Nairobi


Photo Credit: Mukesh Dewatwal, 2013 CGAP Photo Contest