PEP's Chair of the Board, Prof. Carol Newman, and Executive Director, Prof. Jane Mariara, look back on PEP’s achievements in 2022 and look forward to the opportunities 2023 will bring for PEP and PEP researchers.
As the newly appointed Chair of the PEP Board of Directors, I am thrilled to join an organization that is making a significant impact in shaping development policies in the Global South, through locally generated evidence. PEP has established a strong network of Southern-based researchers, putting the organization in a prime position to produce impactful research on various development challenges.
Moving forward, I see great potential in further integrating Southern-based researchers into the global development research community —not just as providers of evidence, but also as key partners in defining the research agenda and identifying key policy challenges that need to be addressed.
PEP's mission is to empower Southern-driven development by informing policy decisions with locally generated, high-quality evidence. To achieve this, and in addition to mentoring and reviewing their work from a technical point of view, PEP supports researchers to engage in co-production of knowledge with key stakeholders, and to translate evidence into actionable policy recommendations. PEP's structure, support and mentoring program for researchers ensure that the organization delivers maximum impact in achieving its mission. PEP's dissemination and communications efforts, in particular, are critical to maximize impact of PEP research on policymaking, and I am eager to work with the organization to advance this aspect of its work.
Prof. Carol Newman
Chair, PEP Board of Directors
2022 was a year of continued expansion for PEP. With new, renewed or continued funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Co-Impact, the Fonds d’Innovation pour le Développement, Global Affairs Canada, the Hewlett Foundation, Canada’s International Development Research Center, and the Mastercard Foundation, PEP has continued to elevate the voices of Southern researchers and stakeholders around the Global South, defining country-relevant policy solutions to critical development issues.
Ongoing PEP initiatives focus particularly on issues related to youth employment and women’s empowerment, as well as clean energy, social gender norms, the impact of the war in Ukraine, and promoting the use of experimental impact evaluations to inform policymaking.
We are also expanding our reach with new collaborators and partnerships worldwide. These include the University of Florence, the African Economic Research Network, the Economic Research Forum, and Environment for Development. PEP is also part of a consortium of 12 European organizations, led by the University of Florence, selected by the European Union to implement an initiative for the creation of an integrated framework to foster sustainable structural change for more resilient European economies and societies.
Last year, PEP launched a global Call to Action for greater participation of Southern researchers in economic development debates, which has now collected over 180 signatures, including 80 eminent personalities. As part of our Call to Action, PEP Research Fellows have organized a webinar series to discuss specific action points, identified from research investigating the obstacles to Southern participation in development research and policy debates.
2022 also marked an important milestone, as we celebrated PEP’s 20th anniversary. Two distinct events were held to commemorate the organization’s achievements and the contributions of our outstanding partners: a virtual “PEP symposium” in June, and a gathering in Ottawa, Canada in December.
It is my pleasure to welcome our new board members, including PEP's new Chairperson, Carol Newman, who began their mandates this year and to thank our outgoing members for their contributions, Fred Carden, our Chairman, and Haroon Bhorat, the Chair of our Finance and Audit Committee.
I take this opportunity to wish our donors, the PEP Board, management and staff, including those from partner and collaborating institutions, mentors, researchers and all other stakeholders a productive, collaborative and healthy new year.
Prof. Jane Mariara
PEP’s highlights from 2022
New research initiatives get underway
- Addressing context-specific barriers to women's participation in decent work, supported by Co-Impact
- What Works for Youth Employment in Africa- a three-year initiative that aims to provide evidence that can drive policy reform to increase youth employment in ten African countries, supported by the Mastercard Foundation.
- Macro-level policy solutions to promote women's economic empowerment in Africa, supported by the Hewlett Foundation
- IDRC and PEP co-hosted the mid-term workshop for the Gender-Sensitive Training and Employer Incentives to Improve Women’s Labour Market Outcomes, supported by the IDRC
More people benefit as PEP further expands online activities
- PEP launched a new webinar series led by PEP Research Fellows, featuring distinguished guest panelists, on solutions to increase representation of Southern researchers in development journals (on September 23) and at leading development conferences (on November 7), as part of PEP’s Call to Action.
- The PEP Annual Conference, including a virtual symposium to celebrate PEP’s 20th anniversary, is held online
- PEP online learning videos on Economics of Child Well-being and Advanced Computable General Equilibrium Modelling
Recognition as a hub of expertise promoting Southern voices
- PEP signs long-term agreement to provide UNICEF with expertise on child poverty and social protection
PEP responds to the COVID-19 crisis
- Local PEP researchers share their findings from quick-response policy research projects under the COVID-19 Responses for Equity (CORE) initiative at national policy conferences and ensures online access to the webinar series on Lessons on Covid-19 Policy Responses
- Shares free publications and information sources from PEP-affiliated researchers and beyond