Ford Foundation allocates $13M for economic research in the global south

The Ford Foundation has announced $13 million in new funding for economic research in the global south.

The money has been allocated to university departments in Latin America, Africa and Asia to support projects focused on investigating equitable growth policies and reimagining economic systems.

Funding recipients include: The American University in Cairo, Egypt, The Southern Center for Inequality Studies at Wits University in South Africa, Universidad de los Andes in Colombia and El Colegio de México in Mexico. Additional centers will be selected in Asia.

The funding round follows $40 million in grants issued by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Omidyar Network earlier this year, which was also focused on supporting academic research focused on reimagining the relationships between markets, governments and people.

Ford Foundation Vice President for International Programs Martín Abregú said: “Unregulated markets have caused some of the principal societal inequities we face today. It is time for markets to serve the interests of all people.”

He added: “While the free market worldview has dominated for decades, the changing global economic context and persistent inequality require us to rethink traditional models. We are pleased to join Hewlett in this initiative to develop a bold vision for the future of global economic systems that will better serve today’s society.”

Commenting on the grant, Dr. Ibrahim Awad and Dr. Amr Adly of the American University in Cairo, said: “The project should allow us to progressively come up with a new accumulation, distribution and redistribution model that stimulates equitable development in the Middle East and North Africa, and the entire Global South. Since neoliberalism is global, its alternative cannot but also be global. The new model will thus greatly benefit from the interactions between the Global South partners and their counterparts in the Global North.”

Professor Imraan Valodia, from The University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, said: “At the Southern Centre for Inequality Studies, our vision for the next four years, supported by this grant, is to be at the forefront of driving research and policy engagement for two existential challenges facing the global South.”