On January 25, Université Laval, Canada, launched a new Chair on Education Leadership in Development Economics. This Chair will create new opportunities for distance learning, formal training, and graduate diplomas for researchers in the developing world. It will leverage Laval’s strong tradition in applied economics and make the training available to a much larger group of students in developing countries.
Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is funding this new initiative through its support of the Partnership for Economic Policy (PEP). PEP was created in 2002 by Université Laval and the Angelo King Institute in the Philippines. It was funded by IDRC, and built on its program to examine the micro impacts of macroeconomics and adjustment policies.
PEP has since become a truly international organization, including four partner institutions representing different regions of the world, and working with major development partners like DFID and UNICEF. It has over 11,000 registered members and carries out activities in over 55 different countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. PEP hosts major international conferences and its research has helped to improve policies to enhance the well-being of marginalized groups. Over the last two years, it has strengthened the expertise of 300 developing country researchers — 126 in low-income and fragile countries and 159 women.
While PEP management has now moved to Nairobi, Université Laval continues to play a key role in this truly global endeavour. By expanding this initiative to include distance and online learning, PEP will significantly increase the number of researchers who receive practical training, an increase that was not previously feasible due to the high costs of travel and accommodation.
John Cockburn will lead this initiative. He was PEP’s Executive Director until 2013 and has made major contributions to knowledge on the impact of economic policies and reforms on poverty, particularly as they affect children. He has been active in capacity building for developing country researchers since 1990.