2021 PEP Annual Conference 

May 18 - June 4, 2021 | Online

PEP conferences bring together development researchers, practitioners, leading experts and policy stakeholders from around the world, to discuss issues, challenges and opportunities related to economic policy analysis and advisory work.

This year's conference is organized as part of three research initatives:

Find out more about previous PEP conferences.


Building capacity for policy research in developing countries

May 18 - June 3, 2021

PEP meetings represent a unique opportunity for all participants to discuss new and ongoing research projects and findings on emerging development issues with researchers and experts from around the world. As this year’s event will be taking place online, all members of the project teams will be able to attend and benefit from PEP training and peer-review.

Members of 15 research teams from 14 developing countries, supported under the Impact Evaluation Mentoring and CORE initiatives, will present their research results and project outcomes for discussion with peers and international experts.

Members of teams shortlisted for PEP support under the Climate Change in Africa initiative will present their project proposals for peer-review and discussion.

Attendees will also benefit from training in policy engagement, policy communication and climate change policy analysis, depending on their program (see below). 


Policy conference: Southern participation
in economic development policy debates

June 4, 2021 

PEP conferences also feature a one-day policy conference to present and discuss the policy implications of PEP research and analytical approaches.

These events are thematically focused on current or emerging development policy issues, and PEP publishes the main lessons drawn from the dialogues for wider impact - see previous PEP Policy Forums.

The theme of this year's policy forum, to be held on June 4, is: "Southern participation in economic development policy debates". The objective is to determine the nature and scope of Southern researchers' participation in economic development policy debates, the obstacles they face and possible remedies. See below

Program of activities

All sessions start at 12 noon UTC

Learning activities

May 18-20 - Workshop: Best Practices for Policy Engagement

  • Teams shortlisted for the Climate Change in Africa initiative

May 25-27 - Workshop: Best Practices for Policy Communication 

  • Experimental Impact Evaluation (PIERI) project teams

May 27-28 - Training: Climate change policy analysis

    • Teams shortlisted for the Climate Change in Africa initiative

    Discussing research projects and findings

    May 31 - Project proposal presentations for peer-review

    June 1  - Individual meetings with mentors

    • Teams shortlisted for the Climate Change in Africa initiative

    June 2-3 - Research results presentations for peer-review

    • Experimental Impact Evaluation projects (PIERI)
    • COVID-19 responses for equity (CORE) projects


    Aissatou M. Diop, Grant Administrator  

    Marjorie Alain, Director of Communications

    2021 PEP Policy Conference

    June 4 - Power in proximity: For greater participation of local researchers in
                  development policy debates

    Join us on June 4 to discuss how to  increase local researchers’ leadership in development policy debates.

    When researchers from low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) participate in economic development policy discussions—locally, regionally, or globally—they can bring a deeper understanding of the social, political and economic context of their countries, compared to outside experts. 

    More inclusive policy debates lead to more effective policy choices and more sustainable development outcomes that better respond to local needs. 

    A long-standing problem

    Experts from higher-income countries have historically taken leadership roles in many, if not most, global, regional, and even national development policy debates focusing on LMICs. 

    The old argument that local research capacity is lacking is increasingly weak. LMIC researchers have significantly increased their capacity in a broad range of policy areas with support from local universities, studies abroad and capacity-strengthening organizations such as PEP. 

    Local contributions remain limited

    There is little empirical evidence to rigorously measure how LMIC researchers are participating in policy debates. However, analysis of leading academic journals and conferences shows clear evidence that the contributions of LMIC researchers to economic development research are very limited and stagnating.  

    Is this true also for their participation in global, regional and national policy debates? Are in-country researchers systematically involved in the design and evaluation of development policies? If not, how could their participation and leadership be enhanced? 

    An international dialogue

    On June 4, 2021, the Partnership for Economic Policy (PEP) will host international dialogue on what can be done to increase local researchers’ leadership in development policy debates. 

    • A moderated panel discussion will bring together specialists in the field and representatives of international organizations to provide insight into what is needed to boost the participation of LMIC researchers. 
    • Parallel breakout sessions will give participants an opportunity to explore the roles of different development actors in increasing local researchers’ leadership. 

    June 4, 2021

    12-3 p.m. UTC

    Find your local time

    Simultaneous interpretation
    will be available.

    Webinars are online workshops that you can attend via the internet from your computer or portable internet device.

    This webinar will use the Zoom video conferencing platform. If you have not attended a Zoom webinar before, please read this guide to joining and participating as an attendee.

    The event will be recorded to be distributed publicly afterwards. By registering for this event, you give your consent for this.

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    About the organisers

    The 2021 PEP Policy Conference is organised in collaboration with the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP), the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS, Sri Lanka), Southern Voice, and the Centre for Evidence-based Health Care (CEBHC, Stellenbosch University)

    It is held as part of the 2021 PEP Annual Conference, held online from May 18 to June 4. The 2021 PEP Conference is supported by the International Development Research Center (IDRC), Global Affairs Canada and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

    Funded by