Building on the success of the first Policy Analysis on Growth and Employment (PAGE) program (2012-2016), PEP has been granted funding by the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom (or UK Aid) and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada in 2016 to launch a new program supporting high quality research, capacity development, and policy engagement for growth and employment in developing countries: PAGE II.


To build and promote research capacities in developing countries

In accordance to PEP’s core mission, the PAGE II program includes an important “capacity building” component. Through this initiative, PEP will allow numerous teams of researchers, based in developing countries, to benefit from the unique and manifold PEP "Grant Plus" research support program as they conduct high quality and policy-engaged research projects.

One particular feature of PAGE II is that, although proposals are welcome from all developing countries, priority is given to researchers from and based in low-income countries (LICs), fragile and/or conflict states - see list of targeted countries. At least 40% of projects supported by PEP through the PAGE II program will be led by teams of researchers from these countries.

Call for proposals, selection process and training

Research teams to be supported under PAGE II are selected through a series of open and competitive calls for proposals, launched in 2016, 2017 and 2019. All PEP-PAGE projects are carefully selected after a thorough review process involving several rounds of evaluation and leading to the presentation/discussion of shortlisted proposals to an audience of peers and PEP-affiliated international experts during a PEP conference.

One new feature of the PAGE II initiative is that all members of shortlisted applicant teams are invited to participate in a distance (online) training course in the specific research methods/tools to be applied in their project. Only those who successfully complete these courses are then invited to present their project proposal at one of the PEP Annual Conferences.

The 2017, 2018 and 2019 PEP Annual Conferences, held in the context of PAGE II, featured a series of intensive training workshops - in research methods,  policy engagement, communication and scientific writing - for shortlisted applicants, who were then invited to present and discuss their project proposals and/or research findings, for peer-review and final evaluation by PEP scientific committees.

A total of 45 projects have been selected for support under the two first rounds of PAGE II funding - 29 projects were selected in 2017, and 16 projects in 2018 (see below) - the majority are still ongoing, but some have already published their PEP working papers and policy briefs, and also held national policy conferences.

A new call was launched in 2019, for the selection of 13-15 new projects to be supported under a 3rd round of PAGE II funding. The call is now closed and shortlisted proposals were presented and discussed during a special PEP general meeting, held in Saly, Senegal, in September 2019. One particular feature of this 3rd round is that all projects must be led by mixed teams involving researchers and government officers.

For the analysis of specific and country-relevant policy issues

For this second PAGE program, five priority themes (all under the broad theme of inclusive growth and employment) have been identified as especially relevant in addressing knowledge gaps and policy needs in terms of evidence base. These themes, listed below, have been identified by international experts in the field of development economics

  • Youth employment; supply and demand side constraints and related policy options - description  /  readings
  • Gender and women’s economic empowerment - description  /  readings
  • Entrepreneurship and financial inclusion - description  /  readings
  • Productive employment in rural farm and non-farm sectors; increasing labour productivity and reducing factor market imperfections - description  /  readings
  • Sectoral composition and patterns of economic growth; implications for job-creation, employment and poverty reduction - description  /  readings

Click on the links next to each of the above-listed priority themes to download a detailed description of the theme (including examples of methodological approaches) and the associated list of recommended readings.

From a variety of methodological approaches

Building on fourteen years of experience and the knowledge of a large pool of world-renowned experts in the field, PEP offers unique expertise in the application of cutting-edge methodologies and analytical techniques in economics and development research in the specific context of developing countries.

Beyond the geographic scope of its activities, another peerless feature of PEP is the breadth of analytical perspectives, tools and techniques that researchers can choose to apply and be trained in. Some of these tools - which are acknowledged worldwide as state of the art in the field of applied development research – have emerged directly from PEP research.  They are based on extensive experience in the analysis of policy issues related to poverty and economic development in the specific context of developing countries.

The PEP research support program spans four distinct thematic research groups (TRGs), each focused on a different set of methodological approaches. Each group involves experts from around the world who are assigned as mentors to the research project teams upon the teams' selection. 

Find out more about the four PEP TRGs through the following links:

Under the 3rd funding round in particular, all projects must also incorporate a gender analysis component, and teams are provided with special training, and mentorship support, by PEP-affiliated gender experts to apply related methods and techniques.

Projects selected for PEP support under PAGE II

A total of 45 projects, in 33 different countries, have received support under the PAGE II initiative (full list below). PEP selected the grant recipients from over 500 applications received in response to a series of competitive calls for proposals that were launched in 2016 and 2017. Twenty-nine projects were selected following the presentation of shortlisted proposals during 2017 PEP Annual Conference in Nairobi and a further 16 projects were selected following the during 2018 PEP Annual Conference in Bangalore, India.

The 45 projects include:

  • 21 projects in low-income economies and/or fragile or conflict-affected situations (LIE/FS)
  • 28 projects in Africa, 8 in Latin America, 6 in Asia, 2 in Eastern Europe and 1 in the Middle East
  • 17 projects led by female team leaders and 21 projects that focus on gender issues
  • The first PEP Institutionalization Project

These projects involve a total of 203 researchers, of whom:

  • 117 are women
  • 99 are in low-income economies and/or fragile or conflict-affected situations

The projects selected investigate various aspects of the five PAGE II priority themes relating to growth and employment. Topics include gender pay gaps and gender disparities, food security, the micro, small, and medium enterprise sectors, the effects of conflict, migration and remittances, and mobile money for financial inclusion.

In 2019, the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada awarded extension funding to PEP for a third round of projects. A competitive call for proposals was launched in April and 14 projects were selected for support in September. Find out more about PAGE II-Round 3.

In the table below, the projects are grouped according to the analytical approach (research method applied). Follow the code links in the left hand column to view the project description and related publications.

Project code (link) Project title Country
Microeconomic analysis 
PMMA-19978 Financial inclusion and gender disparity in risk appetite for micro, small and medium enterprises performance: evidence from Ethiopia Ethiopia*
PMMA-19983 Rural nonfarm engagement and agriculture commercialization in Ghana: complements or competitors? Ghana
PMMA-19985 Analysis of youth underemployment in Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia Macedonia
PMMA-20000 Gender pay gap in times of austerity Serbia
PMMA-20015 Labor force participation for educated females and gender wage gap in Palestine Palestine**
PMMA-20026 Cognitive skills, entrepreneurship, and economic growth in Indonesia Indonesia
PMMA-20055 Non-farm participation, agriculture productivity and farmers’ welfare in East Africa Kenya
PMMA-20083 Youth unemployment and transition from school to work in Benin  Benin*
PMMA-20102 Informal employment and labour market policies. The case of domestic workers in Uruguay Uruguay
PMMA-20280 ‘Work-study’, internship and educational mismatch among youths: Evidence from Zambia Zambia
PMMA-20279 Access to child care and mothers’ employment quality: lessons from Chile Chile
PMMA-20272 Understanding youth entrepreneurship in Benin: the role of microcredit uptake and entrepreneur capacity building Benin*
PMMA-20257 Civil conflict and labour market outcomes in Sierra Leone Sierra Leone***
PMMA-20210 Can urbanization improve household welfare and provide inclusive opportunities?
The case of urban expansion in Ethiopia
PMMA-20209 Migration, remittances and child schooling in rural Cambodia Cambodia
PMMA-20201 Gender and age diversity to foster innovation and productivity growth Brazil
PMMA-20167 Employment vulnerability, earnings And subjective well-being in Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyzstan
PMMA-20166 Do out-migration and remittances induce shifts to non-farm entrepreneurship among the left-behind? Evidence from Nepal Nepal*
*Low-income economies (LIE)   **Fragile or conflict-affected situations (FC) ***LIE and FC
Macro-micro policy modelling 
MPIA-19971 A macro-micro simulation modelling on the poverty alleviation policies in Tanzania Tanzania*
MPIA-19999 Impact of APE on women’s employment in Senegal: The role of public investments?  A dynamic CGE analysis (French) Senegal*
MPIA-20006 Agricultural reforms, employment and poverty reduction: A dynamic CGE analysis (French) Niger*
MPIA-20030 Resource allocation across sectors, poverty and income inequality in Ethiopia: CGE modelling approach Ethiopia*
MPIA-20066 Impact of agro-industrial policies on gender inequality in Burkina Faso: A CGE analysis (French) Burkina Faso*
MPIA-20094 Agricultural policies, employment and women’s income in Burkina Faso (French) Burkina Faso*
MPIA-20108 Commodity booms, human capital, and economic growth. an application to Colombia Colombia
MPIA-19906 Institutionalization project – Economic Research Institute Mongolia
MPIA-20290 Post-conflict and rural income in Colombia Colombia
MPIA-20261 Assessment of the welfare, employment and gender impacts of policy options for renewable energy financing in Nigeria  Nigeria
MPIA-20260 Exchange rate policy in a dollarized economy: Implications on growth and employment in Bolivia Bolivia
MPIA-20242 Can a wage subsidy be used to improve women’s formal employment in Zambia? Zambia
MPIA-20234 Identifying key policy options for growth and gainful employment in Ghana Ghana
*Low-income economies  
Experimental research, using randomized controlled trials 
PIERI-12942 Academic ambassadors and the diffusion of digital financial services among the Peruvian poor Peru
PIERI-13014 Impact des modèles innovants de Conseil Agricole et d'Entrepreneuriat des Jeunes sur la résilience et la sécurité alimentaire des ménages au Bénin Benin*
PIERI-13129 The impacts of access to free childcare on women's labor market outcomes and children's cognitive development Mongolia
PIERI-12937 Stimulating SME performance and recovery in the aftermath of the Ebola crisis: Evidence from a business Liberia***
PIERI-20281 Can mobile money induce entrepreneurial and financial behaviors of members of village savings and loan associations in rural southern Malawi? Malawi*
PIERI-20165 Can discounted withdrawal fees catalyze mobile money usage? Field experimental evidence from Gambia Gambia***
*Low-income economies (LIE)   **Fragile or conflict-affected situations (FC) ***LIE and FC
Community-based monitoring systems – CBMS 
CBMS-19956 Agricultural investments, labor productivity and rural poverty reduction: gender disparities in Togo Togo***
CBMS-19996 Understanding the challenges of financial inclusion of rural women's entrepreneurship in Nicaragua Nicaragua
CBMS-20010 Determinants of financial inclusion among young micro and small business entrepreneurs: Evidences from Asella town and Shirka Wereda Ethiopia*
CBMS-20034 Analyzing the impact of a social protection programme on women’s poverty and employment (French) Burundi***
CBMS-20035 Does addressing gender inequalities and empowering women improve development programme outcomes? Ghana
CBMS-20058 Social capital and women's empowerment in Kenya: Case study of Murang'a County Kenya
CBMS-20068 Youth unemployment in Botswana: Understanding the demand and supply gaps Botswana
CBMS-20141 A livelihood approach to understand financial inclusion as informed by the Community Based Monitoring System (CBMS) study in Katakwi subcounty of Katakwi District Uganda*
*Low-income economies (LIE)   **Fragile or conflict-affected situations (FC) ***LIE and FC

Funded by