Labour, Growth, Equity, and Structural Reforms in Post-Secession Sudan
Despite attempts to reform Sudan's economy, unemployment, poverty, and inequality continue to be major challenges. The growth collapse in post-secession Sudan has raised concerns about job creation, poverty reduction, economic diversification, and other critical issues, including the country's ability to meet the Millennium Development Goals. Faced with lower GDP growth rates, Sudan's inflation and balance-of-payment pressures may become binding constraints for the country's growth. There has been little research conducted on the specific factors which are crippling Sudan's full realization of its labour potential, and its persistent unemployment, poverty, and inequality. There is also little empirical evidence to support policies that promote sustained growth and access to expanding economic opportunities for the poor. This research aims to fill the gap by analyzing the constraints preventing the full realization of Sudan's human potential and the factors that have contributed to a slowdown in growth, along with persistent poverty and inequality. The research team will explore: -how labour and structural changes in employment contributed to Sudan's growth path; -how economic reforms and social protection policies impacted the labour market, poverty, and equity; -why successive labour market reforms have failed to integrate the growing labour force (including youth and women) into formal employment; and, -how existing policies affect opportunities for the growing labour force. Some of the project's specific objectives include: -identify the determinants of labour market participation and earnings with a special focus on women; -assess whether informal jobs offer a stepping stone for women or represent a liability; -explore the reasons behind the failure of successive labour market reforms to integrate the growing labour force into the formal sector; and, -identify policies that can address these failures and boost job creation. The University of Khartoum will coordinate the project. Its findings will be used to propose policies that can promote sustained growth while improving the poor's access to expanding economic opportunities. The researchers will draw on macro- and microeconomic data to explore these issues. They will share the project's outcomes at an in-country conference, and publish them.