This year’s conference will focus on resilience, innovation and technology in the private sector, and bring discussions on how these issues are changing the landscape of firms in developing countries, the problems they face, and the solutions proposed based on past and recent learnings. These topics are central to the COVID-19 challenge and DFIs’ response. It will offer an opportunity to learn more about these issues in a broad sense.

Regarding technology, the study of a broad range of relevant aspects would be welcome, such as automation, digitalization, sector-specific technology, and adoption issues, among others. On the innovation front, we are seeking contributions on drivers of firm innovation, impacts of business innovation on performance and productivity and its heterogeneous effects, the role of public and private resources in spurring innovation, among others.

Finally, on the resilience front, research is welcome on a broad array of topics touching firm’s risk exposure and management, contingency plans, risk insurance, policies to protect private sector in response to shocks, sustainable businesses and managerial practices, lessons from climate shocks and firms’ contributions to environmental sustainability among others.

Below is an indicative list of topics where we welcome contributions:

  • Firms’ survival patterns, determinants and statistics
  • Resource allocation and market design under adverse conditions
  • Sources of shocks and volatility and their impact on firm-level economic activity
  • Disruptions of supply chains and strategies to build resilience
  • The role of management practices at the firm-level for resilience and growth 
  • Heterogeneous impacts of shocks across firms of different characteristics 
  • Firm-level decision-making under uncertainty, adverse external conditions, crises and recovery
  • The role of industrial and other government policies in supporting firm resilience, technology adoption and innovation
  • The role of public-private partnerships to support firm resilience, technology adoption and innovation
  • Business models and strategies to support firm and market sustainability (economic, environmental or social sustainability)
  • The costs and benefits of building firm resilience for markets and different communities
  • Technology, technological change, innovations and their impacts on inclusion, job quality, performance and resilience at the level of firms
  • DFI responses to crisis in the past and today
  • Effectiveness of different support instruments such as cash transfers or services in firm resilience
  • Access to finance and links with firm resilience, technology adoption, innovation
  • Financial innovations (e.g. financial instruments) that help firms to grow and/or build resilience

Contributions on topics that might not be explicitly mentioned in the list but that are considered to contribute to the broad discussion outlined in this call for papers will be also welcomed.

Submission Guidelines

There is no submission fee and the conference will be delivered online. Papers (even in draft format) should be submitted as PDF files to Irina Gnezdilova no later than August 15th 2020.

Accepted authors will be notified by the end of September 2020. Preference will be given to completed papers or extended abstracts that include a detailed description of the following aspects: (i) objectives and research questions, (ii) methodology, (iii) data that will be used, indicating whether the team has already access to it or is in the process of collecting, (iv) preliminary hypothesis or conclusions of the analysis, (v) research team.

Conference Committee

  • Paddy Carter, CDC
  • Ralph De Haas, EBRD
  • Neil Gregory, IFC
  • Peter Kalotai, EBRD
  • Nancy Lee, CGD
  • Rania Nasir, IGC
  • Alessandro Maffioli, IDB Invest
  • Alexandros Ragoussis, IFC
  • Matthieu Teachout, IGC
  • Dirk Willem Te Velde, ODI
  • Patricia Yanez-Pagans, IDB Invest