The 10th PEP General Meeting ; development researchers and practitioners around the world gathered to share knowledge and perspectives, and contribute to build local research capacity in developing countries

Some 130 participants from 37 different countries attended the meeting in Cape Town, South Africa - May 2-10, 2013.

During its 10th general meeting held in Cape Town (South Africa) from May 2 to 10, 2013, PEP succeeded once again in gathering quite a large attendance – of (130) developing country researchers, international development experts and practitioners, donor institutions, etc. from 37 countries around the world (see directory of participants) – to discuss issues, challenges and opportunities related to development research, policy analysis and advisory work.

The event’s main features included intensive training workshops, presentation of new project proposals and high-level conference panels. Click here to find out more about PEP general meetings and the event's program, or see below for a description of its main outcomes.

Selection of the first PAGE projects

The main purpose of the PEP general meeting per se was to complete the final evaluation and selection of those projects to be supported under the first funding round of PEP’s new PAGE program. 

Representatives from 28 contending research teams (a total of 49 researchers) from 22 developing countries – of which 15 are low-income countries (LICs), fragile and conflict states - presented and discussed their proposals with an audience of peers and PEP-affiliated international experts.

Click here to find more information about the winning project proposals (and teams) selected for support under the first funding round of the PAGE program

Advanced training in PEP research methods and tools

Preceding this official meeting (of May 8-9), PEP took advantage of such a gathering of developing country researchers to provide a series of (parallel) intensive training workshops - from May 2 to 6 – in the different research methods, techniques and tools to be applied in the context of the researchers’ proposed projects.

Specifically, training was provided in techniques related to:

Impact evaluations, using Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs)
Training was provided by Maria Laura Alzua, Jose Galdo and Maria Adelaida Lopera
See workshop program

Macro-micro policy simulations, using Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) models
Training was provided by Bernard Decaluwe and Erwin Corong
See workshop program

Microeconometric measurement and analysis
Training was provided by Jorge Davalos and Guy Lacroix
See workshop program

"The method of randomized experiments is new for academics and policymakers in Mongolia. The few impact evaluations of programs implemented in Mongolia were conducted by international experts, but local knowledge and capacity in this method is low. So with the training it provides, PEP offers us a good opportunity to fill the knowledge gap in our country.."

        Soyolmaa Batbeh, MONGOLIA

High-level discussion panels around policy issues related to PEP research

The final and not least feature of the PEP general meeting was a series of panels, through which several international experts discussed a variety of policy issues, needs and implications related to the themes and analytical perspectives promoted through PEP research, particularly in the context of the PAGE program.

More information on each of these panels - including PPTs and video recordings of the panelists’ presentations - will be published on the PEP website within the next few weeks. Bur here’s a brief description of the sessions’ themes.

"Methods of policy assessment; contributions, challenges and complementarities" (May 9)

The purpose of the first panel, organized in collaboration with the International Development Research Center (IDRC), was to bring together different perspectives on how three of PEP’s core methodologies (CBMS, macro-micro policy simulations and Impact Evaluation) have been used concretely to inform and influence policy and what policymakers and program implementations have gained from each of these different types of research.

Three researchers who have been actively using one of the methodologies AND involved in the process of informing subsequent policymaking, shared their perspectives and reflected on the main strengths and weaknesses of their respective approaches for policy research.

"PAGE priority themes" (May 9)

In the context of the PAGE program, PEP has innovated by convening a group of international experts – all closely involved in the policy elaboration process in national governments and international development banks - to define a series of specific policy research issues to be examined by the PAGE-supported research projects.

The objective of this second plenary session was to allow these experts to argue the importance of these issues for economic and social development throughout out the developing world, and discuss how research can contribute to amassing an empirical evidence base for elaborating effective policy recommendations

"Women’s economic empowerment and growth: opportunities, challenges, and policy implications” (May 10)

This final panel was organized jointly with the IDRC and the International Association for Feminist Economics (IAFFE), and aimed at fostering dialogue among researchers, policy makers, and practitioners on key advances and challenges, knowledge and policy gaps, and opportunities for enhancing research to policy nexus.

"Usually, international organizations who are willing to fund local researchers in Africa only consider those with high expertise, who are already professors with lots of publications, but PEP has a unique approach, which is the capacity building of new experts and thus contribute to the expansion of local expertise. It is very important, the first of its kind, and it is a model which other international organizations should borrow from. The training and capacity building that PEP provides, especially with the junior researchers, is a long term and significant investment in local capacity".

Damilola Olajide, NIGERIA

"We decided to apply to PEP because of the possibility to obtain capacity building from the network. We have seen that PEP is an interesting “sphere” where we can learn a lot and gain from the experience of other groups of research, as well as to get the opportunity to participate in major international initiatives. The training sessions that we have the chance to attend to, during this meeting, is also highly pertinent and useful for the conduct of our project."

Fernando Alberto Groisman, ARGENTINA

PEP is currently funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom (or UK Aid), and the International Development Research Center (IDRC) of Canada

            

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