Engagement and impact stories from 2023

From research to action

PEP's support facilitates collaboration between local researchers and stakeholders to generate context-sensitive, policy-relevant evidence.

We foster best practices in policy engagement and communication among our research teams. We support these teams to promote evidence-based decision-making within their local institutions and through public engagement (via national events and the media).

To these ends, PEP has adopted a “coproduction approach” whereby the projects are led by teams of local researchers and government representatives or relevant stakeholders. We also require teams to produce a policy paper or context analysis to bolster knowledge translation for decision-making as part of their project.

As a result, the majority of PEP projects inform policymaking and lead to increased visibility and career advancement for local researchers. Find out more about the impact of PEP's support and projects

The following accounts, reported by PEP-supported project teams in 2023, testify to the effectiveness and substantial impact of this approach.

55% of projects in 2023 informed policy

Jump to:

Brazil     Peru     Philippines     Sri Lanka     Nigeria


PEP researchers in Brazil showed that motherhood is one of the main barriers women face in accessing decent work. They identified two policy options that can mitigate this issue:

  1. Extend the operational hours of (existing) public daycare centres to accommodate the full (44-hour) workweek of parents.
  2. Modernize current maternity leave policies, moving towards shared parental leave and/or expanding paternity leave rights.

Each of the two stakeholder representatives within the project team used the findings and recommendations to inform policy debates.

One stakeholder representative, Tatiana Vasconcelos, has been very active in policy debates regarding the issue of daycare services. She used the study’s findings to support her arguments through various platforms while working at the Secretariat of Labor. During the PEP project, she was assigned to the Council for Sustainable Social Economic Development (CDESS). She shared the team’s findings to inform the preparatory meetings for the 2nd Plenary of the CDESS. During the 2nd Plenary, the President of Brazil received the recommendation to create an “integrated policy for early childhood”, which includes expanding daycare services

The team’s other stakeholder representative— Ana Cláudia Sousa Oliveira from the Women’s Secretariat in the Chamber of Deputies—integrated the study’s findings into her argument for a new bill to extend paternity leave rights from 5 to 30 days (and eventually up to 60 days). Mrs. Sousa Oliveira was assigned to coordinate the Working Group mandated to draft the proposed bill, which the Women’s Secretariat presented to Congress.


During the course of their PEP project looking at the barriers women face in accessing decent work, a team of local researchers in Peru deepened their engagement with well-established agencies and policy advocacy groups. With this strategy they aimed to inform and influence the long-term policy agenda. These engagements included the United Nations Development Programme Lima, International Labour Organization, UNICEF, and Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing. As a result, the team was asked to provide inputs to inform an ongoing public campaign to change gender norms.

The country’s political situation prevented the project team from engaging meaningfully with government institutions until they reached the dissemination phase. In December 2023, the newly assigned Director for the Promotion of Employment and Self-Employment at the Ministry of Labor and Employment Promotion (MTPE) attended the team’s National Policy Conference. During the event, the Director stated that the team’s findings prompted the MTPE to recognize the need to enhance their Wiñay Warmi program—intended to tackle key barriers limiting women’s access to decent work—rather than terminating it. The team had found that the program was under-resourced and under-implemented, leading them to recommend full implementation of Wiñay Warmi as the most strategic policy solution to achieve the desired systems change.

Latin American mother and infant son

Based on their findings, the team also recommended expanding public daycare services in terms of both operating hours and nation-wide coverage, would be critical for increasing women’s access to formal and full-time jobs. Public daycare in Peru is provided through the Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion (MIDIS) Cuna Más (“Cradle More”) program. Through the team’s engagement with MIDIS, their discussions helped prompt the Ministry to pilot two programs aiming to improve care services. MIDIS is also considering a collaboration with the PEP project team to support the evaluation of the two pilot interventions.


Based on the findings of local PEP researchers in the Philippines, increasing the provision of childcare at the barangay (smallest administrative division) level is vital for improving women's access to decent work. In policy terms, this requires increasing the number of teachers and daycare workers.

Through the team’s stakeholder consultations, they determined that the most strategic legislative channel that could achieve this outcome would be to adjust the “Magna Carta for Daycare Workers” to make it work in conjunction with UNIFAST (Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education Act) scholarships.

During the research project, the team built a relationship with Eduardo Rama, the congressman responsible for filing the House Bill 6883: “Magna Carta for Daycare Workers. Mr. Rama has agreed to work with the team, before the bill gets passed, to discuss ways to enhance its impacts, including utilising the UNIFAST (scholarships) Bill to encourage more people to become daycare workers at local government levels.

The team also found that social gender norms placing domestic responsibilities on women prevent them from seeking employment opportunities. While this is a challenging issue to address through policy, the team is coordinating with the Philippines Commission on Women to help increase awareness of inequitable cultural norms as well as the visibility of unpaid care work. They are also discussing a potential extension of their work to assess the size and financial value of the unpaid care economy in the Philippines.

Sri Lanka

As Sri Lanka’s political scene stabilised in 2023—following a political and socioeconomic crisis in 2022—a team of local PEP researchers were able to engage with government representatives. Among them were high-level officials from the Ministry of Labor, including the new Minister of Labor, and his direct advisors, who expressed interest in policy changes and in receiving inputs from the PEP team.

The PEP researchers in Sri Lanka brought their evidence on the barriers that women face in accessing decent work, and how to overcome these through policy, to the Minister of Labour during a consultation meeting. The team highlighted how the focus of the “National Human Resource Development Policy: 2023-2028” should move from “creating jobs” to “creating decent jobs” for women. This consultation provided inputs for the 11-point proposal for labor reforms set forth by the Minister of Labour. Before drafting these labor reforms, the Minister received inputs from various stakeholders, including from the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), where the research team is based.

Two women working in a factory in Sri Lanka

The team was able to build awareness amongst World Bank and International Monetary Fund officials (responsible for guiding economic reforms) on the need for creating “decent jobs” at the regional level. Additionally, following the team’s National Policy Conference, a representative of the Industrial Service Bureau (ISB) expressed interest in future collaboration with IPS researchers to promote women's access to decent work at the provincial level.

The project team also identified childcare is a major barrier to women’s labor force participation. They highlighted the importance of finalising and implementing the National Policy for Child Day Care Centres and the National Policy on Early Childhood Care and Development, both of which are being drafted. A member of the team’s stakeholder committee, the International Finance Cooperation, has requested to collaborate with the research team (and IPS) to use the study’s findings to extend a daycare centre pilot program that they are currently implementing. Specifically, they are interested in applying the research-based evidence to develop policy solutions that address the needs of the intended recipients.


Unemployed youths in Nigeria

Throughout their project, a team of local PEP researchers in Nigeria consulted with multiple high-level political stakeholders. During these consultations, the team shared the research process as well as their findings on how financial grants for entrepreneurs can increase youth employment in the country. The team also highlighted how inclusivity measures (targeting women and other marginalised groups) must be incorporated into the grant policy to ensure its success.

Through the consultation process, the team received positive responses from the Commissioners of three state Ministries, i.e., those responsible for directing the policies and programs of their Ministry. The team also held a successful national policy conference during which several policy stakeholders said that the team’s evidence and recommendations would be taken up.

The Commissioner of the Ekiti State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development said the Ministry is ready to immediately address some of the key challenges the team identified through their project.

The newly appointed Commissioner of the Ekiti State Ministry of Youth Affairs was similarly enthusiastic and sought to understand how to implement the team’s findings in the state. He also visited the team in Abuja to gather further information and ideas on how to address the state’s youth unemployment situation.

Likewise, the Director for the Department of Employment and Wages at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employmentstated that she hoped the Ministry will use the team’s findings to improve the coordination of existing youth employment policies.

The Speaker of the Nigerian Youth Parliament—a legislative and developmental training institution created to empower young people through meaningful youth representation in driving Nigeria’s developmental agenda—appreciated the team’s work. Following their national policy conference, she met with the team to discuss a potential collaboration and committed to engage members of the team in forthcoming Youth Parliament activities.

The Commissioner of the Enugu State Ministry of Youth Affairs initially responded that the state is doing a lot to increase youth employment. However, through his discussions with the team, he realised the need to improve monitoring and evaluation of the youth employment policies and programs to better determine what is working and what is not.


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