February 2018 – 41 developing country researchers from 23 teams supported under the PAGE II initiative are participating in international study visits thanks to PEP grants.
Of the 41 beneficiary researchers, 16 are women and 22 are from low-income economies or fragile or conflict situations. These visits provide the selected researchers with valuable personalised support and training from PEP Resource Persons who are world-leading experts in the specific methodology the team is applying in their PEP-supported research project.
Under PEP’s Grant Plus support program, researchers participate in an international study visit at the institution of their choice. The chosen institutions included Université Laval (Canada), Université du Havre (France), Universidad de la Republica (Uruguay), Universidad Nacional de la Plata (Argentina), and Université des Antilles (Guadeloupe).
The 12 researchers visiting Université Laval, including three women and four from low income economies or conflict-affected situations (LICs), impressed the Economics Department faculty when they presented their research at the Department's weekly seminars.
16 researchers also participated in a “collective” study visit hosted by the CBMS office at the Angelo King Institute of De La Salle University in Manila, the Philippines. The participants received four days of intensive training on questionnaire design, poverty mapping, the use of CBMS Scan (a tablet-based data collection system) and the CBMS portal. See page 8 of the December 2017 CBMS Network Update for more about the visit.
Paul Nkegbe, leader of a PAGE II project team from Ghana whose members were awarded this support, expressed his team’s gratitude to PEP for the opportunity and to the team’s mentor, Abdelkrim Araar, for the training. “Our two colleagues learnt a lot and made so much progress on our group project during the three-week study visit to Université Laval. We are very grateful and hope PEP can continue to train young researchers from developing countries,” he said.
PEP mentors travel to Mongolia for field visits
Two further PEP-supported project teams recently benefited from their respective PEP mentors visiting them in Mongolia.
At the beginning of February, PEP Resource Persons Bernard Decaluwé and Lulit Mitik Beyene completed a third field visit to the Economic Research Institute (ERI) in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The ERI was awarded the first PEP Institutionalization Project grant, conceptualized and channelled through the MPIA-TRG. During their visit, Bernard and Lulit provided training and technical support to the ERI research team. This support helped the team to finalize their first outputs (PEP Policy Brief 175) from the initial research cycle and define the priority for the second research cycle. On the final day of the visit, the team organized a scientific seminar with attendees from Mongolia’s National Development Agency, National Statistical Office, Bank of Mongolia, and National University of Mongolia, as well as the ERI. Bernard and Lulit each presented their recent projects, followed by questions and comments.
Additionally, in September 2017, PEP Research Director for Experimental Research (PIERI), Maria Laura Alzua travelled to Ulaanbaatar to support a group of four researchers conducting a randomized controlled trial to assess the “Impact of access to free childcare on women’s labour market outcomes and children’s cognitive development”. While there, Maria Laura, together with Altantsetseg Batchuluun, the project team leader, visited childcare centers and presented their research at the Labor Research Institute of the Ministry of Education.