July 6, 2017 - PEP Executive Director, Prof. Jane Mariara presented PEP’s capacity building strategy for policy-engaged research to over 180 delegates at the CGIAR Conference on “Impacts of international agricultural research: Rigorous evidence for policy.”
One of six presentations during a panel discussion on the “Use of evidence in an era of ‘alternative facts’”, Prof. Mariara explained how PEP helps researchers to ensure the maximum policy uptake of their findings.
Prof. Mariara highlighted PEP’s unique Grant Plus mechanism that provides developing country research teams with funding, scientific and technical training, and policy outreach support at every stage of the project. “We work with junior researchers and help them to interact with local and national policymakers and how to develop a policy context analysis,” she said. “We want to create research-policy linkages so that the researchers are not just working among themselves.”
Showcasing three PEP projects that have had a policy impact in their respective countries, Prof. Mariara stated that the findings from 32% of PEP projects between 2013 and 2016 were used to inform policy decision. See PEP Impact Stories for more information.
Other panelists discussed the types and standards of evidence needed to inform policy, and how international organizations use evidence.
Following her presentation, several conference participants approached Prof. Mariara to find out more about PEP and to compliment the Grant Plus model. Two commentators also mentioned PEP as an example of an organization that is "doing a great job in building capacity for quality research" during the Social Science Research Capacity and Quality Workshop on the final day of the conference.
The conference attracted participants from multiple international organizations, research institutions and universities including the FAO, IFAD, and the World Bank. As well as panel discussions, the three-day conference included parallel sessions investigating specific agricultural research issues such as the impact of technology on food security, and how gender affects technology uptake.
The conference was organized by the CGIAR Independent Science and Partnership Council (ISPC)’s Standing Panel on Impact Assessment (SPIA) and the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM) and was held at the World Agroforestry Centre in Nairobi, Kenya.