CID Speaker Series: New Pathways to Inclusive Growth: Sri Lanka Project in Retrospect


Friday, November 16, 2018, 12:00pm to 1:00pm


Democracy Lab AB (R414 AB) - Rubenstein 4th Floor

colomboSpeakers: Daniel Stock, Research Fellow, CID; Timothy O'Brien, Research Fellow, CID; Sehar Noor, Research Assistant, CID

About the talk: Starting in November 2015, the Center for International Development’s Growth Lab has been engaged in economic policy research with the Government of Sri Lanka. Led by Professor Ricardo Hausmann, the team has focused on a single question: what is holding back investment in Sri Lanka – especially in new and non-traditional export-oriented sectors – and what can the government do about it? In this talk, members of the Sri Lanka team will show what they learned. First, a lack of new economic “knowhow” has meant that there are few easy opportunities for innovative investors to exploit. Next, the investors who do arrive find significant roadblocks to their success; these include policy barriers to reaching markets and key inputs, and infrastructural gaps at the regional level. As these challenges became clear, the team partnered with key counterparts in the government and civil society to support potential solutions, and to better understand the deeper institutional gaps that prevent proactive policymaking.

About the speakers: Daniel Stock rejoined the Center for International Development's Growth Lab as a Research Fellow in 2015. He also held this position from 2011-2013. He studies how countries apply proactive strategies to promote structural transformation. His research focuses on using network models to uncover new opportunities for diversifying exports and attracting new sources of investment. Prior to joining CID, Daniel was a Junior Professional Associate at the World Bank, working with governments to improve the investment climate for local businesses and FDI. Daniel has also worked as a researcher at the MIT Media Lab's Macro Connections group, and a Research Intern at the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Santiago, Chile. Daniel earned a B.S. in Quantitative Economics and International Relations from Tufts University. 

Tim O’Brien joined the Center for International Development in 2015, working on both Growth Lab and Building State Capability projects.He has led growth diagnostic research in Albania and Sri Lanka. Tim holds a Master in Public Administration in International Development (MPA/ID) degree from the Harvard Kennedy School and a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Northwestern University. Tim served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi from 2008-2010 and has experience working with the World Bank and in environmental engineering. Tim’s research interests center on the challenges of economic transformation and adapting to climate change in developing countries and vulnerable communities.

Sehar Noor is a Research Assistant at the Center for International Development's Growth Lab. Sehar graduated from Rollins College in May 2016 with honors in Economics and International Affairs. While at Rollins, she served as captain of the debate team, and studied abroad in Cuba and China. Her previous experience includes conducting fieldwork in disaster relief camps as an intern for the Aga Khan Rural Support Program in Gilgit, Pakistan, and interning with the Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling Unit of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Islamabad, Pakistan.