Oliver Harman

DPhil in Sustainable Urban Development


Local government finance and decentralisation in sub-Saharan Africa


Dr Vlad Mykhnenko


Oliver began his DPhil in Sustainable Urban Development in 2021 as a Clarendon Scholar. His research looks at financing and governing sustainable urban development in low income and fast-growing cities—primarily in Sub-Sahara Africa.

Professionally, Oliver attempts to bridge the gap between research and policy translating economic literature into clear urban policy guidance for emerging country city governments.

He firstly does this as a Cities Economist for the International Growth Centre's (IGC) Cities that Work initiative based at Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford. He is also Associate Staff and Occasional Researcher at the London School of Economics (LSE).


Crescenzi, R,. and Harman, O. (2023). Harnessing Global Value Chains for regional development. Regional Studies Association Policy Impact Book. Routledge. [Please see Open Access Overview ‘The book in a nutshell’]

Delbridge, V., Harman, O., Oliveira-Cunha, J., and Venables, AJ. (2022). Sustainable urbanisation in developing countries: Cities as places to innovate, trade, and work. International Growth Centre Growth Brief

All other recent publications found here on personal website

Papers and lectures

Infrastructure projects for African integration into global value chains - Digital Presentation

Funding and financing city governments - Digital presentation

Recent blog publication


Research interests

decentralisation and multi-level governance, financing sustainable urban development, global value chains for regional upgrading, climate change in cities