UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


Virgi Agita Sari

Virgi Sari is a Research Fellow in Economic Policy at the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP).

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Virgi Agita Sari is currently a Research Fellow in Economic Policy at the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose. She is a development economist interested in the intersection between development economics, welfare policies, and policy evaluation. Her research largely focuses on poverty-inequality nexus in developing countries, human capital, policy impact assessment, and understanding the distributional impacts of grand challenges.

Her roles at the Institute focus on translating new economic thinking into practices through the newly established Policy Studio (link) and undertaking in-depth research. Her research currently focuses on developing an alternative method for a system-based policy evaluation as well as bringing new approaches to the economy and governance of water. She is also passionate in teaching and currently serves as one of seminar leads for The Economics of Innovation for our MPA course.

Virgi holds a PhD in Development Policy and Management (2018) and MSc in Development Economics (2012) from the Global Development Institute. Her PhD dissertation examined the concept of inclusion, used novel method and data in bringing evidence and assess policy impact in fostering economic inclusion. Prior to joining IIPP, she did substantive research on poverty and inequality and policy work with government counterparts in developing countries through different capacities. She worked as an Economist at the World Bank, engaging closely with the national governments in monitoring and assessing the impact of welfare policies in Indonesia and Timor-Leste, as well as engaged in frontier research to understand the distributional consequences of global challenges including disruptive technology, climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic using econometric techniques. She also worked as a researcher at government think thank to help monitor and improve the delivery and design of flagship social protection programmes in Indonesia.