Impact Stories from 2021

From research to action

PEP support facilitates collaboration between local researchers and stakeholders to produce contextualized, policy-relevant evidence. We foster best practices in policy engagement and communication while supporting research teams to promote evidence use within local institutions and through public engagement via national events and the media. As a result, most PEP projects inform policymaking and lead to increased visibility and career advancement for local researchers. Find out more about the impact of PEP support and projects.

In 2021, all of PEP-supported research was “coproducedi.e. led by mixed government-research teamsand all project teams were required to develop a policy paperin addition to the traditional research (working) paperto facilitate knowledge translation for decision-making.

PEP-supported project teams reported the stories below in 2021 and testify to both the effectiveness and impact of our approach.

Impact stats from 2021

Jump to:

Burkina Faso     Cameroon     Côte d'Ivoire     Lesotho

Malawi     Pakistan    South Africa     Zambia     Zimbabwe



National policy conference

Informing institutional practices

In addition to the various accounts of findings being taken up to inform specific policy decision processes, summarized below, 2021 was also characterized by numerous reports of how the experience of the “PEP model” has influenced institutional practices for evidence-informed policymaking (EIPM) in beneficiary countries. For example:

  • In Côte d’Ivoire, one of the government members of a PEP project team was appointed a technical advisor to the Minister at the Ministry of Women, Family and Children. There, she is expected to use her knowledge on best practices for EIPM—that she gained from the PEP program—to guide decision-making within the Ministry.

  • In Nigeria, following the example of practices and activities undertaken as part of two distinct PEP projects:

    • Representatives of government agencies (REA, Energy Commission of Nigeria, Ministry of Power, and Ministry of Science and Technology) and local energy research institutions (including the Centre for Petroleum, Energy Economics and Law (CPEEL) where some of the team members are based), decided to jointly develop a new collaborative communication framework. This framework aims to encourage and facilitate the exchange, integration and coproduction of knowledge.

    • The Central Bank of Nigeria has assimilated and is using the knowledge on developing policy papers—that their staff member gained during the PEP project—to improve the writing of policy notes/memos.

  • In Pakistan, as a result of advocacy efforts led by local researchers in the context (and using the case) of their PEP-supported project, the Bureau of Statistics has publicly acknowledged the need, and intention, to increase the production of “gendered data”, as well as improve the accessibility and transparency of data in general.

  • In Senegal, members of two PEP project teams were asked to provide training on the use of policy papers to convey relevant policy advice to their colleagues at the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Cooperation, and at the Centre d'Etudes de Politiques pour le Développement (a public research institution).

Informing policy decisions

Burkina Faso

Following discussions of their PEP findings and recommendations for reducing climate change-induced poverty in Burkina Faso, particularly among women, the Regional Coordinator of the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS) requested that the PEP researchers take part in a working session with the National Assembly’s Commission for Environment and Sustainable Development.

Furthermore, as three members of the Faculty of Economics of the University of Ouaga II were part of the PEP project team, they introduced a new training module on computable general equilibrium (CGE) modelling, i.e., the methodology learned and used in the context of their PEP project.

Women waiting their turn to get drinking water


Women in Cameroon

The evidence generated through their PEP-supported research project led a team of local researchers and government officials to call for policies targeting women farmers’ structural disadvantages to reduce the gender productivity gap and improve food security in Cameroon. In early 2021, the team was invited to share and discuss their findings with the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Minister of Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Industries and the relevant technical committees for incorporation into the National Strategy for Rural Development for the Period 2020-2030.

Furthermore, the engagement the PEP team achieved through this project led to Ousmanou Njikam, the team leader, joining a group of agricultural economists who provide technical advice to the Minister of Agricultural and Rural Development. He was also promoted from a senior lecturer to an associate professor of Economics.

Côte d'Ivoire

Results from the scientific and policy analyses conducted as part of this PEP-supported project demonstrated that 1) rural electrification contributes to women’s empowerment in Cote d’Ivoire, and 2) decentralized electrification through biomass power plants would be more efficient than extending the national grid, or other alternatives such as mini-hydropower and solar plants.

During the national policy conference organised by the local PEP team in Abidjan, in May 2021, the Vice-President of the Senate committed to sharing the results and recommendations with the Senate, and the Chief of Staff for the Ministry of Women, Families and Children stated he would share with the Minister.

Moreover, as a result of his involvement in this project, Amessan Benoit Ledjou was nominated to join the team developing the Sector Policy for Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency 2020-2030 and the Off-Grid Electrification Action Plan 2020-2025. His participation will allow the group to incorporate the PEP findings in the policy design.

Rural electricity


Rural Lesotho

In May 2021, a team of local PEP researchers held a national policy conference to discuss policies that can help Lesotho’s rural women protect their livelihoods against floods and droughts. Their findings showed how programmes to support and promote agricultural activities that are less vulnerable to extreme weather events, such as livestock farming, may help rural women and their households—who are particularly vulnerable to climate shocks—maintain their living standards during periods of drought or floods (find out more).

During the event, the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security publicly committed to incorporate the study recommendations in the formulation of the National Agricultural Policy and the Instrument-Based National Agricultural Investment Plan.


A team of local researchers in Malawi found that, while the current subsidies provided through the country’s Farm Input Subsidy Program (FISP) do increase household agricultural production, the welfare benefits mainly go to men and thus exacerbate gender inequalities (find out more). In April 2021, the team held an online national policy conference to discuss these findings and their recommendations to amend the FISP strategy so that the subsidies target the person cultivating the land (often women) rather than the household head (most often men).

The audience response was very positive, with policy participants (representing various ministries) keen to comment and find out more about how to operationalise the team’s recommendations. There was much discussion about how to use biometric verification to improve targeting to women. In particular, the Director of Monitoring and Evaluation at the Ministry Finance, Economic Planning and Development expressed her interest in how the effects of subsidies on productivity varied by population groups, and in learning more about how to factor this into decision-making. Additionally, although unable to attend, the Director of Planning in the Ministry of Agriculture heard about the event and requested the team’s policy and research papers to share with the Ministry’s policy team.

Malawi farmer


Pakistan bus

A team of PEP researchers in Pakistan conducted a series of simulations to assess the impacts of COVID-19 policy responses on various outcomes of the national economy. In May 2021, they were informed that the Planning Commission had used the results from their initial rounds of simulations (2020) to inform the formulation of the federal budget for the fiscal year 2021-22.

Specifically, the evidence communicated by the team led to:

  • The Federal Bureau of Revenue revisiting the design of indirect taxes (“rationalizing the general sales tax (GST) on large-scale manufacturing, priority agriculture and food items and selected sub-sectors") and extending the tax relief programme.

  • The National Tariff Commission further reducing the import tariffs on input and intermediate goods, to enhance industrial competitiveness.

  • The introduction of a targeted subsidies programme for agriculture through the launch of a “Farmer Support Card”


South Africa

Thanks to the engagement achieved as part of this PEP project, one of the government-affiliated team members was appointed by the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform, and Rural Development to lead the development of the Ministry's Master Plan on Agriculture, Agro-processing, and Rural economy. In this capacity, Sifiso Ntombela has used the PEP project’s findings, as well as his new knowledge on policy paper development, to inform decisions and processes.


Similarly, as a result of the capacity developed and engagement achieved through this project, the Government of Zambia contracted a member of this PEP research team to be the lead consultant in the evaluation of the progress on implementation of the Annual Performance of the country's National Development Plan.

PEP national policy conference in Nigeria


Women in Zimbabwe wearing face masks

In June 2021, a member of a PEP project team who had been conducting simulations to assess the effects of the COVID crisis and related policy responses in Zimbabwe, was invited to present the team’s preliminary findings to the Minister of Defense and Security, who had recently been appointed Chairperson of the National COVID-19 Task Force. At that point, the team’s recommendations consisted mainly in 1) extending the current government policy response measures, but with a sunset clause to avoid investment crowding out effects, and 2) designing/implementing a capital subsidy policy for the agricultural sectors with a sub-sectoral emphasis on smallholder farming sector (where many women work).

Excited about the study and the findings to date, the Minister decided to present them immediately to the Cabinet. Soon after, she informed the team that, while awaiting the final results, the Government intended to implement some, if not all, of the evidence-based recommendations.

Over the following months, similar commitments were made in the context of individual consultations with 1) the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, and 2) the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. The latter occurred through the Director of Macroeconomic Modelling, who stated the recommendations would be taken into account when constructing the national budget.


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