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The technical assistance component of SAGA is entirely demand-driven. The faculty and staff of Cornell and Clark-Atlanta Universities stand ready to respond to requests from research centers associated with The Secretariat for Institutional Support for Economic Research in Africa (SISERA). Possible areas for assistance include grant proposal preparation and review, training courses or workshops on specific topics or methods, and communication and outreach strategies that maximize the probability that research will have an impact on policy.

All requests for technical assistance must come from SISERA-affiliated research centers, and SISERA coordinates these requests. To put a specific request on the technical assistance agenda, interested affiliates should contact SISERA at:

c/o CRDI
BP11007 CD Annexe
Dakar, Senegal
Telephone 221 864 00 00
Fax 221 825 32 55
Photo of South African workshop
Steve Younger and Haroon Bhorat (behind seated participants, left to right) help with hands-on practice with statistical methods for poverty analysis, DPRU/NIEP/Cornell course on poverty and inequality for faculty from South Africa's historically disadvantaged universities, Capetown, June 23-July 4, 2003.

  • Young Economists Outreach Programme in Elmina, Ghana, January 2008
    Co-Sponsored by Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), Cornell University, and the Economy of Ghana Network (EGN), this workshop was held January 10-11, 2008, in Elmina, Ghana. Professors Christopher Barrett and Ravi Kanbur from Cornell participated in the organization of the meeting and in the sessions presented. The purpose of the forum was to expose young economists in Ghana to an international peer review process for their work and develop mentoring relationships with senior internationally known and accomplished economists. Emphasis was placed on introducing young economists to new ideas in economics and how these can be used in their own work. Opportunities for international publication of finished and on-going work was also discussed.

  • National Treasury Workshop on Poverty Reduction and Social Security, Cape Town, South Africa, December 11-14, 2006
    Ravi Kanbur and Steve Younger helped to plan a poverty training workshop organized by the Development Policy Research Unit (DPRU) at the University of Cape Town, a SISERA partner institution, for National Treasury in South Africa. They also participated as guest lecturers in the four-day workshop. A variety of issues were covered, ranging from the theory and proactive of the measurement of poverty and inequality, to labor market and trade-related poverty issues and social security. The workshop was attended by staff that work on these issues from National Treasury and the Presidency. In addition, a roundtable discussion on a social security system for South Africa was attended by officials from these departments, as well as Statistics South Africa and the Department of Social Development, among others. See program.

  • SAGA Workshop on Education Analysis and Survey Design, Antsirabe, Madagascar, January, 2005
    SAGA organized the three-day workshop to highlight key issues in the education sector in Madagascar, to discuss ways to collect data on them for policy analysis, and to foster collaboration between the education and statistical ministries, in particular through the design of the Progression through School and Academic Performance in Madagascar Study.Approximately ten officials and analysts from the education ministry (MENRS) and the statistics office (INSTAT) attended the sessions.

  • Mixing Qualitative and Quantitative Method of Poverty Analysis in Kenya, March, 2004
    SAGA organized this workshop, hosted by KIPPRA in Nairobi on March 11, 2004. The workshop was attended by 50 or so representatives from various government ministries, the Central Bureau of Statistics, donor agencies (e.g., USAID/Kenya, USAID/REDSO, World Bank, DfID, EU), Kenyan universities and research institutes, international research institutions (e.g., CIMMYT, ICRAF, ILRI), as well as several different national media outlets (print, radio and TV). The program featured an opening address by David Nalo, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Planning and National Development, eight papers by scholars from different social science disciplines exploring different dimensions and experiences of mixing qualitative and quantitative methods of poverty analysis in Kenya, and an expert panel discussing how best to integrate qualitative and quantitative methods of poverty analysis in emerging policy-oriented research in Kenya.

  • Workshop on Analysis and Measurement of Poverty and Inequality, South Africa, March, 2004
    The success of the June 2003 training workshop at the Development Policy Research Unit (DPRU) of the University of Cape Town led to demand for more such workshops. Ravi Kanbur, Paul Cichello, Ching-Mei Chen, and Stephen Younger worked with the DPRU to offer a two-week training course in poverty and inequality analysis for the Department of Social Development (DSD), the government agency charged with design and management of most of South Africa’s transfer payments. The workshop was held in Pretoria at the government’s information technology training center. The course covered both theoretical and empirical aspects of poverty and inequality analysis, with daily hands-on training with Stata software in a computer lab.

  • IAAE—Analytical and Empirical Tools for Poverty Research, South Africa, August 16, 2003
    This one-day learning workshop was co-sponsored by SAGA on Saturday, August 16, 2003, in Durban, South Africa, as a lead in to the 25th triennial meeting of the International Association of Agricultural Economists (IAAE). The workshop, co-organized by SAGA co-PI Chris Barrett (Cornell) and Csaba Csaki (World Bank), featured five hour-long sessions by leading poverty researchers introducing frontier techniques in poverty research and a 90-minute panel featuring shorter remarks by five distinguished scholars on research and policy priorities for addressing rural poverty. A range of international donors, including GTZ, IDRC, the World Bank, the Kellogg Foundation and others, supported the registration and travel costs of delegates from developing countries. More than 110 participants from at least 22 different countries registered for the learning workshop, including economists and other poverty researchers or program managers from line ministries in various African governments, universities from six continents, USAID, the World Bank, CGIAR centers, and other national and multinational organizations.

  • Workshop on Analysis and Measurement of Poverty and Inequality, South Africa, June 23-July 4, 2003
    SAGA researchers Paul Cichello, Ravi Kanbur, and Stephen Younger worked with the Development Policy Research Unit (DPRU) and the National Institute for Economic Policy (NIEP) to present a two-week poverty and inequality workshop for faculty at South Africa’s historically disadvantaged universities. The aim of this course was to provide participants with competences in working with South African survey datasets, particularly in the fields of labour markets, and the analysis of poverty and inequality. The course included formalized reading time and lectures based on the assigned readings. Practical computer-based exercises using the statistical software package STATA drew on the readings and lectures. Program content for poverty analysis included household surveys as an instrument for measurement, derivation of poverty lines, alternative classes of poverty measures, poverty decompositions, and uses of poverty measures with applications to developing countries. Topics for analysis of inequality included building and choosing an inequality measure, modelling inequality, decompositions of inequality measures, and the application of inequality measures to developing countries. The workshop, held in Capetown, South Africa, involved about 25 participants.

  • Qual-Quant Workshop, Ghana, May 2003
    The disconnect between qualitative and quantitative approaches to poverty analysis in Ghana is quite marked. We began to address this problem, at the workshop attended by approximately 30 participants, including economists, sociologists, anthropologists, geographers, and statisticians. Participants came from academia, think tanks, government, NGO’s, and donor groups. Under the SAGA project ISSER will take the lead in forming interdisciplinary teams to address many issues that were highlighted as being best addressed by qual-quant analysis—and in seeking funding for these studies in the Qual-Quant tradition.

  • Workshop on Panel Data Sets for Ghana, February 2003
    There is a glaring gap in data on poverty in Ghana—the lack of panel data sets that allow us to do serious analysis of poverty dynamics. Ghana simply does not have the household panel data sets that are essential before a whole host of dynamic questions — on risk, on poverty, on health and nutrition, on informal insurance, etc., can be answered. We therefore set for ourselves the task of developing a comprehensive research proposal that will develop, for the first time, such a data set and such analyses, for Ghana at Yale, which included ISSER and several global leaders in the area of poverty dynamics.

  • Technical Assistance for Education Analysis, Senegal, 2003
    In Senegal, this workshop provided training in household, community, and school-level questionnaire design to examine education outcomes, planning and design of sampling procedures and data analysis. During May 2002, SAGA researcher Peter Glick worked directly with researchers from the Centre de Recherche en Economie Appliquée (CREA), Senegal’s SISERA institute. The technical assistance team from Cornell University worked primarily with the director, Abdoulaye Diagne, and with lead researchers Gaye Daffé and Salimata Faye. We were able to advise on issues such as enumeration, sample size, questionnaire design, and survey logistics. This additionally involved providing technical assistance to the Direction de la Prévision et de la Statistique (DPS), who worked with CREA in the implementation of the survey. SAGA’s Leopold Sarr, a doctoral student at Cornell and Senegalese national, remained in Senegal through August 2003, managing and implementing the household survey being conducted by the Ministry of Education and CREA.

  • Survey Data Analysis Workshop, Uganda, August 26-September 6, 2002
    With joint coordinators Stephen Younger from Cornell and John Okidi from the Economic Policy Research Centre, Uganda’s SISERA partner in Kenya, this workshop brought together researchers from EPRC and neighboring SISERA institutes, Makere University, and the Bank of Uganda to develop skills for survey analysis. This technical assistance was designed to address the imbalance between abundant data and scarce researchers in Uganda. We discussed general poverty analysis and poverty comparisons; the incidence of public expenditures and taxes; agricultural development; and the demand for public social services. For each topic, we reviewed two or three key papers that use survey data to address a policy issue. We then worked through the steps of how to conduct a similar analysis with data available in Uganda. This latter activity was very much hands on. EPRC provided one computer for each pair of participants so that everyone could work through the program required for the analysis. This was followed by exercises in which each pair had to work through a similar problem with new data. We also included participants in a day-long consultation with government representatives, donors, university faculty and the press, to define specific policy-relevant research topics.


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