Hosted by PEP Africa, the 2012 PEGNet Conference was a great success!

Dakar, Senegal - September 6-7, 2012

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The 2012 PEGNet Conference entitles "How to Make African Economic Lions: Tapping Africa’s Growth and Poverty Reduction Potentials" attracted nearly 200 international participants. The objective to provide a platform for high-level dialogue between development researchers, practitioners and policy makers was sucessfully achieved.

The presentation of outcomes and findings from 3 PEP-supported impact evaluation projects in Africa raised particular interest from policy participants

This year's conference of the Poverty Reduction, Equity, and Growth Network’s (PEGNet), entitled "How to Make African Economic Lions: Tapping Africa’s Growth and Poverty Reduction Potentials“ was hosted by the PEP African Office in Dakar, Senegal, on September 6-7, 2012.

The conference was co-organised by PEP, the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), the Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) - on behalf of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) - and the OECD Development Centre. It was also supported by the Senegalese Government, the KfW Development Bank, and the Courant Poverty Research Centre at the University of Göttingen.

As intended, the conference provided a platform for high-level dialogue between development researchers, practitioners and policy makers. The two conference days featured parallel sessions based on invited and contributed papers, as well as project presentations. These presentations were complemented by debates, round-table discussions, and keynote speeches by renowned speakers from academia, and economic policy and development practice (such as from UN University WIDER, IFPRI, Brookings Institution, etc.).

While the main or plenary sessions were focused essentially on the conference theme, parallel sessions were open to all topics surrounding PEGNet's core theme, i.e. the nexus between poverty, equity and growth. See the PEGNet Conference Program to find description of the different sessions.

One particularly successful session of the conference was led by Pr Abdoulaye Diagne, PEP African representative and Director of the CRES (PEP host institution in Africa) who, together with PEP researchers Madina Guloba and Alice Ng'ang'a Muthoni, presented the main outcomes and findings from three different PEP-supported impact evalution projects.

One one of these projects was conducted in Senegal, and focused on the impact of "canteen programs implemented in rural primary schools", while the other two focused on "policies to create local accountability under free primary education" in Kenya and Uganda.   Links to their presentations can also be found through the PEGNet Conference Program webpage.

Policy members of the PEP panel's audience were particularly impressed by the presented research work and outcomes, and by the active policy engagement dimension of PEP impact evaluation projects. See for example, the PEP policy brief of the Ugandan project.

Finally, the conference was also the occasion for announcing PEP's new call for proposals, recently launched in the context of the DFID- and IDRC-funded "Policy Analysis on Growth and Employment" (PAGE) research programme. The announcement was made by IDRC Program Leader in Supporting Inclusive Growth, Social and Economic Policy, Arjan de Haan, also member of the PEP-PAGE Donor Consulting Group.

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