HESPI’s programme engagements can be broadly classified into: (1) Research and Policy Advocacy, and (2) Institutional capacity building.
RESEARCH AND POLICY ADVOCACY
The main thrust of the work program of HESPI is research and analysis on development policy issues that are important in formulation of sustainable policy reforms. The research components is to assist with the formulation and implementation of sound economic and social policies through production and dissemination of high-quality research and policy analyses, and providing advisory services to facilitate broad-based economic growth and poverty reduction. These issues include public finance management, the role of institutions and good governance in development, the role of domestic and international private investment in economic growth and poverty reduction, and the effective use of local finances and development assistance. Promotion of high productivity of private and public investment to sustain long-term growth; raising living standards and alleviating poverty through employment, food security enhancement and developing the necessary physical and social infrastructure.
HESPI’s research engagements are in the following sectors and subsectors:
The economic sector studies are aimed to:
* Assess the impact of public policy on broad-based economic growth and poverty reduction;
* Enhance fiscal performance and promote appropriate fiscal policies at the regional and the state levels; and strengthen Public Finance Management in a transparent and accountable manner;
* Assist with implementation of appropriate monetary and credit policies and programs at the regional and or national levels, and promote the development of the financial sector, in order to deepen and widen finance for trade and investment;
* Promote a culture of financial discipline through the support of indigenous institutions for accountability;
* Develop economic and social sector reforms and build viable and effective institutions;
* Support mobilization of domestic resources and the effective use of international development assistance;
* Assess the state of poverty and social deprivation in local communities; and
* Promote trade development and integration of the economies of the Horn of Africa sub-region countries, and harmonization and coordination of their plans, policies and programs.
There are many challenges posed by current circumstances of the Horn of Africa countries in the social sector. Consequently, there is a need to stimulate sustainable investments in social services and to enhance cost effective development programs. The analytical work of the Institute focuses on the reconstruction of social services in particular education and health, cost effective delivery systems of social services, and design social safety.
The studies of HESPI in the social sectors are aimed to:
* Inform and guide social policy makers, and the civil society in the formulation of public policies conducive to social development requirements;
* Assist in setting up databases on social development at the national and regional levels, and to disseminate information on various social sectors;
* Support the provision of public services; particularly in the formulation of comprehensive strategies for the rebuilding of education and health institutions;
* Assist in effective poverty reduction strategies and programs, and assess specific programs.
The Horn of Africa countries comprise the most food insecure sub-region of the world. The countries are adversely affected by extreme weather (drought and floods) and chronic conflicts that lead to hunger, malnutrition and deep poverty. The fact that over two-thirds of the population of almost all the countries of the sub-region is rural and depends exclusively on agriculture for its consumption and income generation means that measures to address the problems of poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition must mainly be found within the agricultural sector, including crop livestock, fisheries, forestry and range and the conservation and management of the water resources and broad environmental sustainability.
HESPI makes maximum use of the technical expertise available in the region and international subject-matter specialists to:
* Foster advocacy of the eradication of extreme hunger and poverty, and advance the national and regional food security agenda through the implementation of targeted national agriculture program within the framework of the Comprehensive Africa
The fact that over two-thirds of the population of almost all the countries of the sub-region is rural and depends exclusively on agriculture for its consumption and income generation means that measures to address the problems of poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition must mainly be found within the agricultural sector, including crop livestock, fisheries, forestry and range and the conservation and management of the water resources and broad environmental sustainability.
Key focus areas of HESPI in this line are:
* Foster advocacy of the eradication of extreme hunger and poverty, and advance the national and regional food security agenda through the implementation of targeted national agriculture program within the framework of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program.
* Identify constraints (technical, economic, social, institutional and policy matters) to sustainable agriculture and rural development, and recommend practical ways of addressing issues of production, productivity, distribution and access of crop, livestock and inland and marine fisheries; environmental degradation – desertification, depletion of the forest and range lands and the inefficient management and over-exploitation of water resources.
* Provide policy advice and assistance through the implementation of sector reviews, and formulation of projects and programs in broad range of fields, including agriculture, livestock and fisheries, safety net, and sustainable exploitation, utilization, recovery and management of the natural resources (land, water, forest and range lands).
* Support the strengthening of the capacities of the productive sector institutions and services.
* Assist in the development of concerted action at the regional and the country levels to address problems affecting the productive sector such as conflict, constraints on trade, trans boundary human and animal disease, youth unemployment, climate change and the early warning and response systems.
* Support the strengthening of the capacities of the productive sector institutions and services.
The growth and development of the Horn of Africa countries requires viable and vibrant private sector. The formation of an optimal relationship between the state and the private sector could be better informed through more comprehensive research on the role of the state in a market-based economy. HESPl’s research and analysis address issues on the role of the state in economic markets; and the implications of regulations on economic management.
Public/private participation has been developing across many economic and social sectors in Africa and low income countries in general. The national and regional authorities need to recognize the key contribution of the private sector in economic and social spheres
The Greater Horn of Africa sub-region experienced prolonged and damaging inter-and intra-state conflicts induced by many factors. The poverty and deprivations in many developing societies, including in the Horn of Africa, are often aggravated by the adverse effects of prolonged conflict. A key ingredient of the incidence of these conflicts has been inadequate economic and political governance, as well as high incidence of poverty and struggle over limited resources. It is clear that the majority of the population of the Horn of Africa countries was adversely affected by the negative effects of prolonged conflicts. Although a movement towards a measure of economic recovery in some countries is evidenced by recent developments, the broad performance in the past several decades manifests the toll taken by various conflicts in the sub-region, in terms of destruction of economic and social infrastructure, as well as development opportunities forgone. HESPI focuses on the impact of intra-State and inter-State conflicts on national and regional developments.
* Post conflict issues: HESPI undertakes studies on the impact of intra- and inter-State conflicts on national and regional developments.
* HESPI also works with relevant institutions, both governments and civil society, to avoid the recurrence of conflicts and their resolution.
INSTITUTIONAL CAPACITY BUILDING
The research and analytical work of HESPI involves the strengthening of institutional capacity for sound decision making and enhancing understanding of policy options in the public sector, private sector and among other stakeholders.
HESPI promotes a broader and more informed dialogue on key issues in economic, social, and productive sector policies, pertinent to specific nations or sub-region by acting as a centre for open discussion of fundamental policy issues.
HESPI promotes and stimulates dialogue on economic and social policies among government policy makers, private sector, and other agents of development through seminars, workshops, and conferences. Besides capacity building through interactions in workshops and seminars, HESPI contributes to upgrading of human skills in research and policy analysis in collaboration with existing training institutions.
The training and capacity building efforts assist in effective implementation of research findings, facilitate the setting of priorities for future research projects, and ensure that design efforts are demand driven. HESPI collaborates with local training institutions by providing resources persons for in-house institutional capacity building efforts.