The research function, headed by senior researchers, consisted of. The research function is specialized in the broad areas of Macroeconomic Forecasting and Planning, Microeconomics, International Trade and Finance Economics, Incomes, Welfare and Poverty Economics, and Public Sector Reforms and is headed by Senior Research Fellows. Currently there are 19 researchers consisting of 5 Senior Research Fellows, 6 Research Fellows, 6 Associate Researchers and 2 Research Assistants.
Incomes, Welfare and Poverty
Botswana continues to face a number of serious obstacles to get the economy to a path of viable self-sustaining economic diversification and growth. For instance, the poverty problems persisted. Also, the slow growth of formal sector employment could not be compensated for by agricultural employment. Botswana faced the challenge of managing the scourge of HIV/AIDS and its effect on people and the economy. To this end, research on poverty, welfare and HIV/AIDS issues is necessary to provide guidance to the policy makers to asses the impact of their interventions. The Poverty unit is tasked with this responsibility.
Macroeconomic Forecasting and Planning
The Macroeconomic, Forecasting and Planning Unit conducts impact analysis and policy reviews focused on growth and development in Botswana and other countries in the region with a view to providing policy recommendations and advice. Monitoring and evaluation of key policy initiatives and offering policy advice are core areas of research in the unit. The unit also monitors and provides forecasts on key economic variables to track economic developments of major economic aggregates such as GDP performance, employment, monetary and other financial sector variables to provide insight into the emerging and possible growth path trajectories. The unit has within its research mandate produced quality research and published reports for various clients in the region and the Government of Botswana which have contributed to policy change and implementation, reforms, policy debates and more importantly strategic interventions to spearhead growth and development.
The research programme was intended to identify ways in which Botswana could cope economically and socially with the prospects of lower growth rates and to identify ways in which future growth rates can be boosted. The structural change programme focus on growth, diversification and international trade and finance issues as well as private sector efficiency and competitiveness issues.
International Trade and Finance
Noting that Botswana depended on regional and multilateral trade and finance for export diversification, it is always important that Botswana should position herself in the emerging new trade development landscape. The International Trade programme focus on Botswana’s trade arrangements with other countries, both regional and multilateral, and also addressed capacity building in trade negotiations, covering WTO, SADC and SACU issues. Trade and poverty issues is also a part of this programme.
Public Sector Reforms
It is an established reality that prudent national public management of finance and the planning system has been the backbone of Botswana’s economic development success. Therefore, to maintain that progress and to adapt the system to the new challenges, it was necessary to continuously review public sector structures and processes, with a view to informing policies to reform the systems. The public sector reforms programme aims at improving the understanding of the origins and impacts of policies, including improvement of the efficiency of Government implementation of development policies and programmes.