Managing Infrastructure Reform and Regulation


The MIR research programme ensures that the executive and professional short courses benefit from a continued deepening of knowledge which reflects the frontiers of relevant international and African experience and understanding.

Prof Anton Eberhard supervisors PhD research students interested in electricity and gas sector restructuring and regulation. For more details email In addition to Masters and Doctoral students, the MIR programme undertakes research with a network of associates and partners.

Subject and Region focus

The MIR research programme focuses primarily on infrastructure investment, reform and regulation in Africa, as well as developments in international knowledge and experience which may be of use to stakeholders on the African continent.

Sector focus 

  • The primary focus is on the electricity sector, with a smaller body of work on the water sector. It is MIR's goal to grow its research programme to include scholarship related to the gas, transport and telecommunications sectors in the near future.

Infrastructure investment and reform focus

  • The majority of the programme focuses on private sector participation in greenfield investments (e.g. Independent Power Projects). Work has also been done on private management and further work is planned on lease contracts, concessions, and divestitures.
  • The impact of reform and regulation on the poor and pro-poor policies has also been a subject of study.
  • The role of capabilites in moderating the impacts of policies and reforms on performance is the subject of a PhD.

Regulation focus

In terms of regulatory issues, MIR research focuses on four broad issues:

  • Regulatory design & governance: why and how to design regulatory systems and institutions (independent agencies, regulation by contract, contracting-out to third parties such as expert panels or hybrids) with the appropriate levels of regulatory discretion that best fit local contexts of regulatory commitment and institutional and human resource capacity;
  • Regulatory substance: the different regulatory regimes and methodologies used, with a focus on economic regulation;
  • Challenges in regulating state-owned enterprises;
  • Benchmarking of regulatory performance and how to improve regulatory performance.

Current and recently completed projects

The following research projects are currently being undertaken or have recently been completed:

  • Independent Power Producers (IPPs) in Africa (with Stanford University's PESD);
  • Private Management Contracts & Concessions in the Electricity Sector in Africa;
  • Regulation of Electricity Services in Africa: An Assessment of Current Experience and an Exploration of Hybrid and Transitional Regulatory Systems (with the World Bank and AFUR);
  • Design of a New Regulatory System for Water Services in South Africa;
  • A History and Analysis of the Electrification Programme in South Africa;
  • Investment, Finance and Uncertainty: the Challenge of Power Sector Investment in South Africa;
  • Power Sector Reform and Poverty in Africa (with ESMAP/World Bank);
  • The Political Economy of Power Sector Reform in Developing Countries (with Stanford University).

See the MIR Publications page for further information related to these and other projects.




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