|Best Practices: Strengthening Policy Research Capacity around the World (IFPRI, 2000, 6 p.)|
These examples of IFPRIs capacity-strengthening activities and their impact in selected countries reflect approaches IFPRI has learned from its own experiences and those of other organizations.
Combining postgraduate education with collaborative policy research was cost-effective in developing original data sets for thesis research and for use by government agencies.
IFPRI helped Malawis Bunda College of Agriculture establish a reputation as a regional policy research institution. By working with both policymakers and local academics, this approach increased the confidence and credibility of Bunda College and made policymakers more receptive to research conducted there.
During 1992-1996, IFPRI was instrumental in establishing the M.Sc. program in agricultural economics in the Rural Development Department (RDD) of Bunda College. In 1994, IFPRI and Bunda College, with support from the World Bank, created an Agricultural Policy Analysis Training Unit (APATU), which conducts short-term training courses for planners, agricultural economists, and others in the university and various government ministries. Today, these courses are conducted solely by the staff of Bunda College.
To address the needs of Mozambique and other Portuguese-speaking countries, the approach in Mozambique combined features of regional and national institutional strengthening.
IFPRI trained more than 200 students at the Faculty of Agriculture and Forest Engineering (FAEF) of Eduardo Mondlane University in Mozambique and collaborated with and trained more than 40 technical staff members of the various ministries.
IFPRI researchers, outposted to the FAEF and the Poverty Alleviation Unit of the Ministry of Finance, developed a complete set of teaching notes (in Portuguese), taught three subjects in the Rural Extension and Agricultural Economics program, and supervised senior thesis work for college seniors in the areas of food security, nutrition, and agricultural economics. A major food policy textbook translated into Portuguese through this effort is widely used in Brazil.
IFPRI was also involved in short-term training courses, and in-service training activities. One short-term course was attended by Angolan policy analysts, and it continues to be offered by Mozambicans for other Portuguese-speaking countries.
PAKISTAN Mid-1980s to the mid-1990s
IFPRI collaborative research helped to build policy research capacity and to abolish the governments wheat ration shops in 1987.
IFPRI was instrumental in mobilizing policy research capacity in the universities and government ministries of Pakistan. More than 100 candidates were trained in postgraduate education in economics and agricultural economics. Along with the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), IFPRI helped to strengthen that organizations policy research capacity. The IFPRI-PIDE team was influential in generating policy dialog on several food and agriculture issues.
Together with researchers from PIDE and the Education Management Institute, IFPRI researchers conducted policy research that provided information for the Ministry of Education and other government agencies. More than 60 people, half of them women, were trained in data collection, data processing, and policy analysis.
Data collected through the collaborative research studies continues to be used by local and international researchers and by students in their theses and dissertations.
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