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Strengthening research quality for policy engagement in Africa - key capacity needs Bekele Shiferaw Executive Director May 19 - 20, 2014 Safari Park Hotel,

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Presentation on theme: "Strengthening research quality for policy engagement in Africa - key capacity needs Bekele Shiferaw Executive Director May 19 - 20, 2014 Safari Park Hotel,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Strengthening research quality for policy engagement in Africa - key capacity needs Bekele Shiferaw Executive Director May , 2014 Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya

2 Word of intro? An international organization that links researchers globally to enhance capacity and provide contextualized policy solutions on issues related to economic policy, poverty, inequality, gender and sustainable development in developing countries.

3 Word of intro? Vision and mission Center of excellence for analysis of policies for inclusive growth, economic empowerment and sustainable development to end poverty and promote shared prosperity. Vision To inform strategic decisions and enhance the capacity of local researchers to contribute evidence-based and contextualized policy solutions on key development policy challenges in developing countries. Mission

4 Research to impact interface Research – Measurement and analysis of poverty, gender and inequality – Strategies for inclusive growth and sustainable development – Policy and program impact evaluations – Testing and validating key policy solutions Capacity building – Methods and practical training – Mentorship – Research grants Evidence-based policy engagement to catalyze research-to- action agenda – Policy dialogue and debates – Inform policy design and program implementation

5 Community-based monitoring systems (CBMS – PEP Asia Office) Developing and implementing local poverty-monitoring systems to track a variety of welfare indicators at the household level, collecting data that will provide detailed measurement of poverty in a multidimensional sense. Research programs Macro-micro development policy modeling (MPIA) Combining computable general equilibrium (CGE) models and household survey-based microsimulation techniques, to link the impact of macro shocks/policies to poverty and other dimensions of household welfare. Microeconomic analysis of poverty, gender and inequality (PMMA) Designing and applying concepts, techniques and tools to measure and analyze development issues at the microeconomic level primarily using household survey data. Impact evaluations – including RCTs (PIERI) Using experimental or non-experimental approaches to provide rigorous (either ex-ante or ex-post) assessments of the impacts of programs and policies

6 Thematic areas Policy analysis and training in localizing and meeting MDGs and development objectives Inclusive growth Poverty and inequality Gender and development Education and training Food, nutrition, health Social protection Child welfare Labor markets Youth employment Program targeting and impact evaluation Macro-micro policy impact evaluation Globalization and trade Fiscal policy Environment and development

7 Key capacity needs Shortage of trained economists in all areas (development, agricultural, resource, environmental, markets and trade, etc) Overcommitted and under-resourced national researchers Defining priority policy questions – ensuring relevance Access to quality datasets and publications Cutting-edge methods and tools for policy research – Econometrics, economywide modeling, impact evaluation – Credibility requires methodological innovation and rigor Linking knowledge with action: publication, communication and policy dialogue/engagement

8 PEP contributions - global public goods Research method and tools: Development of several new scientific techniques, tools, methods and concepts: – Poverty and inequality analysis (DAD/DASP software) – PEP standard CGE models – economywide modeling of policy – CGE with micro-simulation – Impact evaluation (RCT and non-experimental) Training materials – manuals and protocols Publications – Working papers, Policy Briefs, Books, Journal articles, Impact stories – building and presenting evidence Free and unlimited access to all products via the PEP website, allows researchers to access necessary tools for the production of state-of- art research, no matter their location and resources.

9 PEP Achievements in capacity building More than 200 research projects supported in 54 countries o 250+ working papers, 100+ policy briefs o 70+ national policy conferences o 12+ major international policy conferences o 85+ international conference presentations and over 50 articles published in international peer-reviewed journals Training of more than 600 local researchers o 43% women and 30% under 30 (average 36 years-old) o creating a growing and gender-balanced pool of locally-based experts in the analysis of poverty and development issues, for now and the future

10 Our approach to enhancing capacity: ‘Grant plus’ support for local researchers Ability to inform and shape policy will require rigorous evidence base on proposed policy options (ex-ante) and actual impacts (ex-post) An integrated support program based on a hands-on and practical learning approach: – financial support – technical and scientific training in new methods and modeling tools – mentoring and technical assistance

11 Our approach to enhancing capacity: ‘Grant plus’ mechanism International visits and networking to help local researchers overcome the usual impediments to the conduct of high quality research at home Peer-review process and mentorship towards: – publication of working papers – publication of journal articles – publication of policy briefs Support for local policy dialogue and engagement efforts to inform strategic socio- economic development policy processes

12 Research, capacity building and policy impact

13 PAGE initiative ( ) US$ 11 million grant from UK DFID and IDRC to PEP Objective: promoting inclusive growth in developing countries through improved policies related to labour markets, social protection and entrepreneurship. About 70 projects of locally-led policy relevant research will be supported through three rounds of competitive grants: Sept 2012: 1 st call for proposals (PAGE Round 1) – 25 projects were selected in June 2013 in 22 countries Oct. 2013: 2 nd call for proposals (PAGE Round 2) – projects being selected for implementation Sept. 2014: 3 nd call for proposals (PAGE Round 3) – About projects will be supported

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15 Word of intro? PAGE initiative ( ) PAGE priority policy issues Youth employment and entrepreneurship Safety net complementarities Providing social protection to the informal sector Employment intensity of non- agricultural growth Discrimination in credit access for female entrepreneurs Entrepreneurial risk tolerance by gender China's growth: challenges and opportunities for developing country labor markets

16 Objectives of the meeting Share perspectives on the current state of research capacity in Africa, and the role of evidence in policy making. Share perceptions of key research quality capacity needs of African policy research institutions. Identify indicators/metrics currently used to assess improvements in research quality for policy engagement and discuss potential new indicators/metrics to better inform progress. Explore strategies to strengthen research capacity in African policy research institutions.


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