PEP research support program
Supporting high quality, policy-engaged research in the global south
PEP is a world-leading source of expertise in building and promoting local capacity for the conduct of high quality and policy-engaged research in developing countries.
Indeed, PEP has developed a unique research support and capacity building mechanism that enables local researchers and government officers in developing countries to:
The PEP Grant Plus mechanism: A unique learning-by-doing approach
Following a learning-by-doing approach, the PEP research Grant Plus program consists in a multi-stage evaluation, training/mentoring and peer-review process, from project design to publication and dissemination.
Implemented with the continued support of renowned international experts in development policy and economics, the program is designed to strengthen capacities for scientific research and policy outreach/communication simultaneously.
|Linking promising researchers with international scientific and policy experts for customized training, mentorship and support||Providing a comprehensive support package to strengthen expertise in policy analysis and advanced methodologies||Fostering engagement with policy stakeholders and supporting dissemination throughout the research process|
Developing scientific capacity
The program supports research projects led by teams of local researchers and/or government officers in developing countries. Projects are selected through competitive calls for proposals, with priority given to fragile and low-capacity contexts.
In addition to receiving detailed comments from PEP experts to help improve their research design, all shortlisted applicant team members are asked to complete the PEP online courses relevant to their specific project's analytical approach.
When selected for support, research teams are assigned a scientific mentor, who will monitor and advise the team's research work, providing ongoing technical support throughout the project cycle.
Developing capacity for policy engagement and communication
In parallel to their scientific research work, PEP-supported project teams must develop a detailed policy context and stakeholder analysis.
When selected, PEP appoints regionally-based policy experts to advise the design and implementation of effective policy engagement strategy, to maximize chances of research uptake. Team members also receive training in best practices for policy outreach and communication. Find out more about PEP's approach to policy engagement for development research.
In addition to funding, training and mentoring, PEP grant recipients also benefit from:
PEP toolbox and quality seal
The progress of each project’s research work is carefully monitored through ongoing interactions with PEP mentors, as well as periodic research and technical progress reports.
Thanks to this ongoing support and review mechanism, the evidence produced in the context of PEP-supported research is guaranteed to meet the highest international standards of scientific rigor and quality – with the unique trait of systematically providing a locally-based analytical perspective. Indeed, the high number of PEP papers (over 50%) that are published in reputable scientific journals clearly attests to the quality of our research.
Among several peerless features of PEP is the breadth of policy issues and analytical perspectives that granted researchers can choose to be trained in the use/analysis of via PEP support, thanks to the varied expertise of PEP Scientific Support Teams. PEP currently has four global thematic research groups, each promoting a different analytical approach:
- macro-micro development policy modeling
- microeconomic analysis
- experimental research
- community-based monitoring systems
Through these various approaches, PEP research can explore a broad range of policy issues related to poverty reduction and sustainable development - from education and employment to agriculture, food security, gender equity, health, climate change, etc. - while producing comprehensive and disaggregated analyses to address specific knowledge gaps and needs to inform policy.
In several cases, the development of PEP’s distinctive set of research tools and techniques – acknowledged worldwide as some of the most valuable tools in the field, such as the CBMS, DAD/DASP software and PEP CGE standard models – has been stimulated by their application in research projects supported by PEP, through innovations introduced by PEP’s teams of international experts.
Monitoring delivery, engagement, and impact
PEP has developed a sophisticated, web-based “Monitoring and Evaluation System” to assess the progress, performance, and impact of the projects we support, from proposal to publication.
Project teams are required to submit periodic reports (in the form of web-based questionnaires) on various project activities and outcomes: not only research but also capacity building, stakeholder engagement, and dissemination activities.
Once the scientific and policy mentors are satisfied with their corresponding deliverables, the M&E reports must be reviewed and approved by the relevant PEP staff for the payment of the grant tranches.
The information collected through this system enables supervising bodies to assess quickly whether the initial strategies are being implemented, recommendations have been undertaken, and objectives are on track to being achieved. Overall, it also allows PEP to identify and assess our main successes and challenges as we implement our global initiatives—which often comprise many individual projects or country studies—to draw important lessons for future strategies.
Furthermore, the system collects qualitative information and testimonies regarding the impact at the country level of the individual projects. These enable PEP to tell compelling impact stories that demonstrate the importance and breadth of the benefits that result from investing in local research capacity.