How PEP researchers are transforming local policymaking with evidence-based policy solutions

From local research to policy impact, discover four successful PEP-supported research projects that have contributed to positive policy outcomes and helped Southern researchers advance their careers.

By empowering Southern researchers to lead studies that respond to local challenges, we have seen firsthand the creation of effective, culturally relevant, and sustainable solutions. PEP has supported a wide range of groundbreaking research projects in countries around the world that have not only informed policies to improve the well-being of local communities but also shaped the careers of the Southern researchers who led them.

Check out four notable PEP-supported research projects, and learn how they have informed equitable policies and helped Southern researchers advance their careers:


1. Cameroon: Target women farmers’ structural disadvantages to improve rural productivity and food security

Local PEP researchers in Cameroon conducted a study on the productivity gap between male and female smallholder farmers in the region. The team's findings revealed the significant structural disadvantages faced by female farmers, underscoring the urgent need for policies that can effectively address these issues to enhance food security.

In 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 to incorporate their policy recommendations into the National Strategy for Rural Development for 2020-2030.

The research team's project didn't just provide valuable insights for creating equitable policies in the region, it also led to new opportunities for team members. Team leader Ousmanou Njikam joined a group of agricultural economists to provide technical advice to the Minister of Agricultural and Rural Development. His work on the project also led to his promotion from senior lecturer to associate professor of Economics.

Read more about the research project here.


2. Cote d'Ivoire: Promoting biomass energy, a solution to empower rural women

Life in rural areas can be challenging. Families living in rural communities across Cote d’Ivoire, some with fewer than 500 inhabitants, often struggle to access basic social and economic services—such as electricity. In 2013, the Ivorian government launched a rural electrification program, PRONER, which brought electricity to rural communities in order to improve living conditions. PEP researchers studied the impact of the National Rural Electrification Program on the lives of rural women, focusing especially on whether it empowered them.

Through scientific and policy analyses conducted as part of this PEP-supported project, the researchers found that providing electricity to rural areas through PRONER improved the community's well-being and significantly empowered women. The study also found decentralized electrification through biomass power plants to be a more effective solution to providing access to electricity than alternatives, these include extending the national grid, mini-hydropower, and solar plants.

Thanks to his involvement in the PEP research project, Amessan Benoit Ledjou would go on to help shape national policy on renewable energies and energy efficiency. He was nominated to join a team of experts to develop Sector Policy for Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency (2020-2030) and the Off-Grid Electrification Action Plan for 2020-2025, while Dr. Binate Fofana Namizata applied her expertise in evidence-based policymaking to advise the Minister of Women, Family, and Children. Their work, informed by the PEP program's best practices, influenced policy decisions and improved the lives of many.

Read more about the research project here.


Man wearing protective mask in crowded area

3. Pakistan: Tax relief for manufacturing and services sectors aid economic recovery from Covid-19

With support from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), a team of PEP researchers in Pakistan conducted a series of simulations to analyze the effects of the government's Covid-19 policy responses, looking particularly at the impact of tax relief programs and production subsidies on public welfare and businesses.

The research team has not only successfully engaged with policymakers but also collaborated closely with the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics to advocate for gender-aware data on national income accounts. Thanks to their efforts, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics has publicly recognized the need for such data and committed to producing gender-disaggregated data for relevant indicators. This development will enable the use of a gendered CGE (Computable General Equilibrium) model, enabling a more comprehensive analysis of inequalities.

Read more about the research project here.


4. Burkina Faso: Gender perspective of the economic impact of climate change

PEP researchers investigated how policies to combat climate change impact the earnings gap between men and women and poverty rates in Burkina Faso.

As a testament to the impact of their research, the PEP team presented their findings at a national policy conference before catching the attention of the Regional Coordinator of the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS). The team was invited to participate in a working session with the National Assembly's Commission for Environment and Sustainable Development, where they introduced a new training module on computable general equilibrium (CGE) modeling—the methodology used by the team to evaluate their findings.

Read more about their research and findings in the team's research paper here in French.


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