Del-Francis Wreh (MIDP ’15) visited the U.S. this week as part of the Liberian delegation to the 2017 annual meetings of the World Bank and IMF. He came to Duke as part of his U.S. itinerary.
Wreh now serves as the executive director of the Liberia Microeconomic Policy Analysis Center (LIMPAC), which is a think tank connected to the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning. LIMPAC’s mission is “to provide quality policy advice to state and non-state actors by using evidence from objectively and data –driven research and analysis to inform the design and implementation of public policy programs for sustainable economic growth and development.”
Since LIMPAC was revitalized in 2016 with the support of the African Capacity Building Foundation, they have developed a roadmap and three year strategy plan. Wreh’s team will lead policy research work in microeconomic analysis, agriculture, poverty reduction, gender issues, climate issues, and private sector development.
There is broad support, including from current Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for LIMPAC to become “independent and fully capacitated” think tank so that it can continue to provide objective analysis and recommendations to the government’s development aims. Liberia will hold its next round of elections in November. Should the ruling party change, Wreh says, there may be disruption to the plan to become fully independent and to execute their strategic action plans, but it is hard to predict the impact at this time.
One of the big projects LIMPAC will be undertaking under Wreh’s leadership is data collection at the district level, which will help them compare economic and development indicators across districts and counties. That way, Wreh says, “we can identify gaps and surpluses which can then inform the design of policies that attempt to efficiently allocate resources.”
While at Duke, Wreh specialized in both public financial management and international taxation. He credits his course work in microeconomics, policy analysis, and statistics for strengthening key skills for his current role at LIMPAC. In addition, he says, the summer programs in PARM and TARF also made an impact.
He came to DCID to meet with Director Indermit Gill and several faculty to explore ways that LIMPAC and DCID can collaborate around capacity building and opportunities for Fellows.