Concrete Results of HESPI Institutional Capacity Building in IGAD Countries
Annual HESPI Conference on IGAD Economies
HESPI has created an annual conference that provides an avenue for face-to-face dialogue on policy research findings between policy makers and researchers in the IGAD region. The annual economic conferences conducted since 2014 have been instrumental in informing participants on sound policy reforms based on empirical research findings. The main inputs for the conference are the Annual IGAD Economic Performance Report that HESPI prepares, and a call for research papers which are selected from in-house and other researchers from within IGAD region and beyond. The Institute has so far successfully completed three (3) annual flagship HESPI conferences on IGAD economies on the following topics:
- “Economic, Social and political developments and challenges in the IGAD region in 2014” ,
- “Inclusive growth and Poverty Reduction in the IGAD region in 2015”, and
- “Imperatives for Attaining the Sustainable Development Goals in 2016”.
The regular annual conferences have drawn interest from key stakeholders such as research institutions, IGAD member governments, the IGAD Secretariat and UNECA. Good indicators for this is that the Mamoun Beheiry Research Institute in Sudan has shown interest to co-organize the 2017 conference with HESPI as well as the UNECA and the IGAD Secretariat, which have been making intellectual and resource contributions to the previous conferences.
The feedback from participating researchers and policymakers indicates that beyond knowledge sharing, there are indications that IGAD member states benefit from the policy recommendations made at these annual conference. For example:
- The Ethiopian government has taken into consideration the HESPI research study entitled “Is the Ethiopian currency over valued: Sober Analysis” in deciding on its assessment of the local currency value.
- HESPI studies on domestic resource mobilization have assisted policy reforms to maximize Domestic Resources Mobilisation and broaden tax structures to finance economic requirements.
- Countries like Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia are considering household level climate smart agricultural policies such as provision of improved seed systems
- Several IGAD governments are reviewing measures on inclusive growth such as ensuring financial inclusiveness through creating more access to finance for small and micro enterprises.