About me

Shahrukh Wani is an Economist and Country Manager for Zambia at the International Growth Center at the University of Oxford. He works with researchers and government agencies in developing countries to support evidence-based economic policy. He is particularly interested in taxation (especially of land) and public-sector management with a cross-cutting focus on the role of cities in driving economic growth.

His work has included supporting evidence-based policy reforms in Afghanistan, Uganda, Pakistan, and Zambia — such as decentralisation, informal settlements, public transport, and property taxation.

Shahrukh is also a writer on public and economic policy in Pakistan with articles published in Dawn, Express Tribune, The News, and The Guardian. He has also been quoted by BBC, Al Jazeera, and Financial Times. Shahrukh grew up in Rawalpindi before moving to London to study at the London School of Economics. He has also worked with ActionAid, Innovations for Poverty Action, Grameen Foundation, and the United Nations.

He can be emailed at s.rukh@lse.ac.uk.

Policy-focused research projects

  • Zambia’s Constituency Development Fund Capacity Survey (with Katherine Casey and Andrés Felipe Rodríguez).
  • Decentralization with Guardrails: Enhancing the Zambia Constituency Development Fund (with Katherine Casey, Andrés Felipe Rodríguez, and Jeremy Bowles).
  • Mapping informal settlements in Lusaka (with Dennis Chiwele Patrick Lamson-Hall)
  • What drives tax compliance? Reforming local taxes in Ndola (with Twivwe Siwale)
  • Understanding agricultural productivity constraints in Zambia (with Miguel Fajardo Steinhäuser and Thandiwe Ng’ombe)

Policy publications

Policy articles

  1. Interview by the Digital Future Society on global urbanisation, 2021
  2. Devolve more power to cities: they will need it more than ever, October 2020 (with Astrid Haas) LSE Public Policy
  3. What is stopping developing countries from taxing more?, Aug 2020. International Growth Centre.
  4. In defence of density, July 2020 (with Shlomo Angel, Patrick Lamson-Hall, Oliver Harman). International Growth Centre.
  5. Urbanisation in fragile societies: Thinking about Kabul, Feb 2020. (with Oliver Harman, Freshta Karim, Shoaib Rahim) Urbanet.
  6. Navigating the urban age. with Oliver Harman. 2019. Oxford Government Review.
  7. Getting the right institutions in place to run Africa’s cities efficiently, with Astrid Hass. 2019. The Conversation.
  8. The Potential of Advanced Market CommitmentsLSE International Development.

Panels, Lectures and Presentations

Opinion writing on Pakistan:

Selected media links on Pakistan:

Podcasts etc.