uOttawa to establish a new Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy

Posted on Friday, February 26, 2016

Yesterday, the Government of Ontario announced funding to establish a new Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy (IFSD) at the University of Ottawa.

This funding will create the only Canadian university-based think tank to focus on public finance and institutions. The provincial government’s sponsorship of the IFSD is in line with its aim to improve evidence-based decision-making, to enhance fiscal discipline, and to foster federal-provincial dialogue. The IFSD also exemplifies uOttawa’s mission to be at the crossroads research, teaching and public policy. Public finance is a multi-disciplinary field that cuts across a range of public policy issues of provincial, national and international significance.

“I am delighted that the Government of Ontario has funded the new Institute for Fiscal Studies and Democracy at the University of Ottawa.  This new Institute will make a significant impact on evidence-based decision making,” said University of Ottawa President Allan Rock.

The IFSD will be an independent, non-partisan organization led by Kevin Page, who holds the Jean-Luc Pepin Research Chair (JLP), and Sahir Khan, Senior Visiting Fellow. The organization will benefit from the momentum created by the JLP team, specifically the efforts of Senior Research Associate Dr. Helaina Gaspard, student researchers and the iVote-jeVote.ca volunteers.

The new Institute will leverage the international relationships and partnerships the JLP team has established with the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, International Budget Partnership, and the United States National Governors Association. “These relationships,” says Kevin Page, “will enable the Institute to leverage best practices and comparative data, as well as to connect thought leaders and Canadian decision-makers with students and researchers, while sharing the strengths of Canadian values and democratic institutions abroad.”

The IFSD will have four business lines: teaching, research, advising and engagement, and will be student-centric. Students, particularly at the undergraduate level, will benefit from experiential learning, applied research projects and direct engagement with top political figures and global experts, to help prepare them for their future responsibilities as global citizens and leaders.

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