On June 16, a team of local PEP researchers in Cameroon organized a policy conference in Yaoundé, to share and discuss their findings on the impact of co-dependent government poverty and informality reduction policies. The event attracted representatives of five government ministries and two government programs, as well as a strong public, academic and media presence.
In this study – selected for support under the PAGE initiative in 2014 – the researchers used CGE modeling tools and techniques to simulate different policy scenarios and measure the effects on economic activity and welfare in the country while looking particularly at youth and the informal sector. The results indicate that, in order to have a significant impact on welfare, policies should focus on increasing the wages of workers rather than formalizing their activities. Find out more through the following PEP publications (in French): Working Paper 2016-04 (full paper) and Policy Brief 137
The team’s main objectives for the conference were to share their findings with a wider audience, from policy makers to members of the public, and to discuss these findings with the policy makers and scientific community in Cameroon, ensuring a better understanding of the policy implications. Participants included representatives of the Ministries of Employment and Professional Training, of the Economy, of Finance, of Work and Social Security, and of Scientific Research and Innovation, as well as representatives of government programs supporting youth and informal workers. University researchers, members of the public and journalists from national newspapers, and radio and television stations also attended.
The conference provided the research team with the opportunity to discuss their findings with their target audience and ensure that their results and recommendations were fully understood as much by the policy makers as by the scientific community. It also allowed the team to reach a wider audience for their findings thanks, particularly, to the presence of journalists from the national press who are able to reach the population sectors that do not have access to the internet. In fact, the conference benefitted from substantial national media coverage with three newspapers, a television channel and a radio station reporting from the event.
An unexpected secondary effect of the research project was that the findings allowed PIAASI (Programme Intégré d’Appui aux Acteurs du Secteur Informel), the program aiming to help informal workers move into the formal sector, to evaluate their own actions and intentions.
The conference also served as an opportunity to present the expertise that the team garnered during the research process. As a result, both researchers and representatives of government organizations approached the team for support and collaboration in their future projects.
The team considers the event to have been highly successful, both in terms of plans for future collaboration and feedback received from the stakeholders present.