The Duke University Center on Globalization, Governance & Competitiveness (Duke CGGC) undertakes client-sponsored research that addresses economic and social development issues for governments, foundations and international organizations. We do this principally utilizing the global value chain (GVC) framework, created by Founding Director Gary Gereffi, and supplemented by other analytical tools. As a university-based research center, we address clients’ real world questions with transparency and rigor.


Duke CGGC’s customized research, training and advising services for clients sheds light on issues such as:

  • How developing countries can enter and upgrade in global value chains
  • Workforce development strategies
  • Environmental sustainability goals
  • Inclusive development impacting all sectors of society

Our work provides decision-makers with new language and tools to understand globalization and economic development. This practical, real-world advice leads to better decision-making.

Duke CGGC’s work spans food and agriculture, energy and the environment, services, as well as multiple manufacturing industries ranging from textiles and apparel to medical devices. In total, Duke CGGC has researched some 50 unique industries or value chains and has produced 85 reports across 31 countries. Duke CGGC researchers have given 93 presentations, authored over 100 additional publications and have led several training workshops (as of the end of 2015).


Duke CGGC’s research team is experienced at using the GVC framework and other analytical tools to provide an industry-centric view of economic globalization that highlights linkages across countries and firms. The GVC framework offers analysis at the multi-country, regional and sub-national levels and can be applied across any industry. The Center leverages the tools across Duke University as well as its strong academic network (both inside and outside of Duke) in all its activities.


“We found the GVC framework developed by Duke CGGC to be a very valuable tool to analyze our industry position in different GVCs. It is a well structured and organized tool that shows both the qualitative and quantitative elements, and allows for identifying possible policy interventions.” – Francisco Monge, Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica 

“We were were very pleased with the results of the study and the center’s quality work. It was very relevant to our efforts. There are lots of opportunities for new lines of investigation moving forward.” – Gabriela Castro, formerly the Minister’s Chief of Staff and currently the Head of Investment of the Policy Division at COMEX (Ministerio de Comercio Exterior de Costa Rica; Ministry of Foreign Trade in Costa Rica)

“The strength of the center is the multi-country global experience. Duke CGGC is very effective at telling the story of what a value chain does in a sector and describing it thoroughly.” – Carlo Pietrobelli, Lead Specialist in the Competitiveness and Innovation Division of the Inter-American Development Bank

“Duke CGGC is a team of smart researchers who know how to model supply chains really well. By tapping their contacts in select industries and conducting original, in-depth research interviews, they were able to provide us with us with keen insights that informed our program work and strategic planning.” – Greg Andeck, former Manager, Environmental Defense Fund

“Being a research center linked with a university lends credibility to Duke CGGC that goes beyond what one would get from hiring a pure consulting firm. This definitely makes a difference to organizations such as the World Bank and governments.” – Tom Farole, World Bank

“We were very happy with the cost and value resulting from the economic impact study that Duke CGGC conducted for the High Point Market Authority. The study was extremely productive. Even though the study now is a few years old, it continues to allow us to talk about the economic impact we are having in our region and state. The credibility of the institution and the people who did the work makes it beyond reproach.” - Tom Conley, President and CEO of the High Point Market Authority

“The GVC framework provides a good snapshot of the global value chain. It connects well both the domestic dimensions of GVC participation, but also helps you understand where the country is positioned in the broader value chain. It is implemented at a very detailed level, resulting in great recommendations. I think the framework can be applied to countries irrespective of their level of development. It helps countries understand where they sit on the value chain at the international level, and then to identify the restraints domestically and how to go about addressing these restraints.” - Anabel Gonzalez, Senior Director of the Trade and Competitiveness practice at the World Bank and formerly Costa Rica’s Minister of Foreign Trade