Giving Compass' Take:

• Here are five insights from the Christensen Institute's Global Prosperity research on economic development during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

• How can donors play a role in establishing economic resilience for the long-term?  

• Read about the impact of COVID-19 on small businesses in the developing world. 

As researchers at a think tank, we concern ourselves with questions of causality: What causes prosperity to take root, and how can it be engendered in impoverished communities? These are the guiding questions that have driven our Global Prosperity research since launching the team in 2016. Then COVID-19 reared its ugly head, narrowing our focus to economic development in the context of a global pandemic.

In many ways the devastation that COVID-19 has unleashed is unprecedented, causing organizations across the globe to fundamentally rethink their approach to economic recovery and development. But our “North Star”—those causal questions that guide our research—hasn’t actually changed at all. If anything, the increase in poverty and instability globally has only underscored the relevance of our research and its findings.

As we explain in our recent report, we’ve found that innovation is the driving force that propels nations into lasting prosperity and deeper financial security. Now more than ever, as hundreds of millions of people lose their jobs and are plunged further into poverty, it’s essential that policymakers and development organizations work alongside innovators to build economic resilience and sustainable development in those countries that have been hardest hit by the pandemic.

Here, we outline five insights from our research that we hope stakeholders will find useful:

  1. Short-term solutions won’t build the strong economic foundation that’s needed to ride out good times and bad.
  2. Innovators and investors shouldn’t discount emerging economies—instead, they should zero in on nonconsumption.
  3. Opportunities to create new markets appear where there is struggle.
  4. Market-creating innovations benefit organizations and society by creating shared prosperity.
  5. To create new markets, innovators shouldn’t simply copy and paste.

Read the full article about innovation during a pandemic by Efosa Ojomo at Christensen Institute.