The 2015 PEP Annual Conference in Kenya - another successful gathering of development researchers and practicioners

Nairobi, Kenya - April 29 to May 8

2015 PEP Annual Conference - Inclusive Growth and Employment for Poverty Reduction

The 2015 PEP Annual Conference in Kenya - another successful gathering of development researchers and practicioners from 43 countries around the world

The 2015 PEP Annual Conference was held in Nairobi, Kenya (April 29 to May 8) on the broad theme of "inclusive growth and employment for poverty reduction".The event was hosted and organized by the new PEP global office, based in Nairobi, and in collaboration with various agencies and local institutions in Kenya.

This year's event occurred in the context of the global PEP research and capacity building initiative for "Policy Analysis on Growth and Employment" (PAGE) in developing countries, which is supported by the UK Department for International Development (DFID, or UK Aid) and Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC).


Once again, PEP succeeded in gathering quite a large and international attendance - of development researchers and practitioners, eminent scholars, representatives of various donor/international organizations and policy makers/stakeholders, etc. from 43 different countries - to discuss a variety of research and policy issues under the broad theme of "inclusive growth and employment for poverty reduction in developing countries"

The event featured three main set of activities: intensive training workshops, the PEP general meetings (i.e. presentation of research findings and new proposals), and a special high-level policy forum - all described below. Find out more about the event's initial concept and objectives. Find out more about the previous (2014) PEP annual conference.

To all participants, PEP conferences present a unique opportunity for global networking, international peer-reviewing and capacity building. Such experience also contributes to enhancing the researchers' capacity to communicate research results to policy makers and stakeholders at the national level.

This year's event, and more specifically the May 7 High-Level Policy Forum, also benefited from the support and participation of the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), the African Development Bank (AfDB), The Rockefeller Foundation and the World Bank Group.

PEP general meetings - May 4-6

Presentation of new proposals and final reports for PAGE projects

Through the PAGE initiative, PEP is supporting a series of policy research projects led by local research teams in developing countries (with priority given to low-income countries, fragile and/or conflict states), selected through a series of open and competitive call for proposals. The purposes of the PEP general meetings are:

  1. To complete evaluation and selection of project proposals contending for support in the current PEP research grant competition, or call for proposals. In this case, the call was launched in the fall of 2014, as the third funding round of the PAGE program.
  2. To present and discuss the research findings/outcomes from projects that were granted/supported under the previous rounds of funding (in this case, under the first and second funding rounds of the PAGE program) with peers and experts from all around the world.

The 2015 PEP general meetings featured a series of (3) parallel sessions (grouped according to different research methods/approaches) in which representatives from 37 research teams, from 25 developing countries, were invited to present and discuss their respective final reports (for projects funded under PAGE round 2) or new proposals (contending for funding under PAGE round 3) with an audience of peers and international experts.

Click here to find more information about those projects that were supported under the first and second funding rounds of the PAGE program. Note, however, that not all of these (PAGE round 2) projects were presented in Kenya, as some have not yet completed the project cycle. Those, in particular, using the experimental approach of "randomized controlled trials" (RCTs), or "community-based monitoring systems" (CBMS), are carried out over a longer period (18 to 30 months) and have thus not yet yielded results.

PEP schools - April 29 to May 2

Advanced training in PEP research methods and tools

Preceding these general meetings (of May 4-6), PEP took advantage of such a gathering of developing country researchers to provide a series of (parallel) intensive training workshops - from April 29 to May 2 – in the different research methods, techniques and tools to be applied in the context of these projects. PEP staff also provided a special workshop to help new PEP grantees prepare their research communication and policy outreach strategy. Specifically, training was provided in techniques related to:

Macro-micro policy simulations, using Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) models.
Trainers: Bernard Decaluwe, Lulit Beyene Mitik and Christian Emini
See workshop program

Micro-econometric techniques  and non-experimental impact evaluations
Trainer: Maria Adelaida Lopera
See  workshop program

Community-based monitoring systems
Trainers: Celia Reyes, Steffie Joi Calubayan


Special feature: Policy forum - May 7

Unlocking Africa’s growth for productive employment and poverty reduction

The final and not least feature of the 2015 PEP annual conference was a high-level Policy Forum on the specific theme of “Unlocking Africa’s growth for productive employment and poverty reduction”. This Policy Forum was organized in collaboration with the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), the African Development Bank (AfDB), The Rockefeller Foundation and the World Bank Group.

Opening remarks by representatives of the main institutions involved (PEP, ACBF and AfDB) were followed by the Official opening by H.E. Amb.Dr.Amina Mohammed, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Government of the Republic of Kenya, followed by a keynote presentation from Dr Francisco H. G. Ferreira.  Dr Francisco H. G. Ferreira is the World Bank’s Chief Economist for the Africa Region and a Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA, Bonn).

The keynote was followed by two subsequent discussion panels, involving a variety of (academic and policy) stakeholders with different perspectives and engaged in various initiatives for poverty reduction and inclusive growth.

Facilitated by Eric Chinje, CEO, African Media Initiative, these "dialogues" presented a unique occasion to reflect and draw some important lessons through sharing of experience, evidence, policy and practice.

The first panel was entitled "What we know: reviewing evidence", and featured the following panelists:

The second panel was entitled "Using research evidence to inform a more effective policy action agenda", and featured the following panelists:

Each session - both panels and the keynote presentations - was followed by interventions (comments and questions) from the audience. 

The main objective of this event was to produce, collectively, a set of specific recommendations for the general improvement of the research-policy action agenda related to the issue. The main lessons and recommendations drawn from this dialogue were compiled, published and publicized by PEP and its partners for wider impact. Find them here:

Ses CNBC Africa's Claire Muthinji coverage of the PEP Policy Forum 






2015 PEP Best Practice Awards

Also held on May 7, the official closing dinner of the 2015 PEP Annual Conference was the occasion to present the winners of the second edition of the PEP Best Practice Awards.

As the ultimate goal of PEP research support activities is for the yielded evidence and new expertise to serve to inform decisions-making in the beneficiary countries, PEP has created this parallel competition meant to reward those research teams who have been most actively engaged in the implementation of a successful “policy outreach” strategy to link their PEP research findings to policy action/influence - at the local, national and international levels - throughout the year (in this case, 2014-2015).

The PEP Best Practice Awards presented during the 2015 Kenya conference included three prizes, of which the winners are the following PAGE research teams :

1st PRIZE: Remittances impact on youth labour supply: evidence from Kyrgyzstan, - led by Kamalbek Karymshakov who received the award for his team.  

2nd PRIZE: Macroeconomic implications of female entrepreneurs facing financial frictions to access credit: a DSGE Model approach in Cameroon - led by Thierry Kame Babilla. The team is represented here by Ms. Adele Micheline Ngo Bilong

3rd PRIZE: Expanding the Community-based Poverty Monitoring System in Argentina - Led by Sebastian Auguste. The team is represented here by Mr. Alejandro Ernosto Bricker.

More information on these awards (selection criteria, etc.) and the winning research teams and projects will be available soon.

See for example the list and description of those project teams awarded in 2014.

The 2015 PEP Annual Conference was supported by the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom (or UK Aid), the International Development Research Center (IDRC) of Canada, in copllaboration with the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), the African Development Bank (AfDB), The Rockefeller Foundation and the World Bank Group.

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