On November 4, IPA organized a dissemination workshop with PhD and Master's students from Université Norbert Zongo in Burkina Faso, in which students had the chance to present their own research and to discover new opportunities that may help them get ahead in their future careers as development researchers.
This event was co-chaired by Professor Eugénie Maïga (Université Norbert Zongo), Professor Andrew Dillon (Northwestern University), and IPA’s country leadership in Burkina Faso. The initiative was held as a part of the collaborative efforts outlined in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in October 2021, which aims to further engage in research collaborations and support young academics in their professional journey. Both the MoU and the workshop were inspired by IPA’s broader initiative to promote research diversification and strengthen IPA’s support to African scholars conducting development research.
During the first half of the workshop, students engaged in discussions on IPA's portfolio, and IPA presented the strategy guiding its initiative to foster academic studies driven by nationals of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The young academics asked questions about IPA’s current efforts to create more locally-grounded research and learned how they can interact with IPA to amplify their research and learning opportunities. Among the topics discussed were training programs on randomized evaluations and statistical programming and future collaboration opportunities including the research internship program (currently being expanded) and—for PhD students—co-designing research partnerships.
In the second half of the workshop, Université Norbert Zongo graduates presented their own research projects. Dillon then discussed the studies’ designs and research questions. Through these informal exchanges with the students, he performed initial validity checks, gave general feedback on the potential of the studies, and offered advice on additional references and possible data sources and methodologies for each research project.