The Duke GVC Center collaborates with different organizations in an advising capacity to address high-priority inclusive economic, social and environmental development challenges. There are two facets to this:

1. Sponsored research add-on advising support
The Duke GVC Center sponsored research reports provide new language and tools to understand globalization. After the completion of a report, clients often request additional insight on how to leverage the findings to ensure they derive the full benefits of the research. The Duke GVC Center responds by offering post-report follow-up and advising.

2. Capacity building and research program development
Many countries are striving to be more competitive and have a highly diversified economy, driven by innovation, entrepreneurship and public-private partnerships. Doing so requires a sound understanding of regional and global economic trends and their implications for competitiveness and inclusive growth. The Duke GVC Center work embodies this requirement! Organizations in Kazakhstan, China, Italy and Singapore have approached the Duke GVC Center for advising support in setting up their own national research centers to serve as a platform to inform decision-making for the public and private sectors.


Advising support from the Duke GVC Center after a contract research report may take multiple forms. It may include preparation of presentations, case studies, websites, visuals or other user-friendly materials that help our clients understand and use the information provided in our reports.

Case in point is research on how the Philippines can upgrade in manufacturing global value chains. After completion of five GVC studies, Duke team members went to Manila to give a series of presentations in a workshop format with in-country stakeholders including the USAID Advancing Philippines Competitiveness (COMPETE) project team, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the Board of Investment (BOI). The workshop entailed discussing the study’s findings and recommending measures to improve the competitiveness of each industry through its participation in its respective GVC. The Duke team also gave similar presentations at a public event for key stakeholders from government, industry, academia, and civil society. In addition, the client asked the Center to provide a two-day advising session to the BOI staff on the GVC approach and methodology, and how it might be used in policy discussions and dialogue with the private sector. Similarly, the Costa Rica Foreign Trade Ministry requested advising support after the initial research studies were completed.

In cases where the primary interest is advising, one or more Duke GVC Center researchers works with a client for a period of time to assist with their research or development goals. In these cases, the main objectives are teaching and educating the client in a particular subject matter rather than developing a tangible deliverable (i.e., report, research brief). Examples of this include our involvement with Duke University’s Bass Connections (a university-wide initiative that focuses on applying classroom learning to pressing global problems) and the Kazakhstan National Analytical Center (NAC) (see below section).

In addition, members of the Duke GVC Center research team are often invited to deliver presentations at conferences and meetings to provide insight on a particular topic related to economic, social and environmental development.


Client: The NAC, an affiliate of Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan, established a Regional Competitiveness and Growth Center (RCGC) in November 2015 to serve as an analytical platform to supports it national competitiveness objectives.

Learning Objectives: The Duke GVC Center supported this new center in three key areas:

1) Capacity Building: researcher recruitment, training of research staff, mentoring and supervision of projects, among other roles.

2) Research Agenda Support: The Duke GVC Center and RCGC developed proposals and projects.

3) Visibility and Relationship Development: The Duke GVC Center and NAC will work together on issues related to research priorities, publicity and the RCGC’s relationship development with universities and development organizations.

Results: Objectives are being carried out over a three-year period (2015 – 17).

A number of other additional activities and deliverables are planned over the course of the collaboration.


Most of the Duke GVC Center team has provided advising support to clients in various degrees. We can put together an advising support team that maps clients’ objectives to the respective the Duke GVC Center researchers’ industry and geographic expertise and advisory skills.