Strengthening Capacity in Environmental Economics and Policy in Africa
Since 2001, the Centre for Environmental Economics and Policy in Africa (CEEPA) has worked to enhance the skills and knowledge of African researchers to conduct environmental economics and policy analyses relevant to Africa's challenges. This grant will extend CEEPA's capacity-building work by supporting a series of small research projects in environmental economics. It will also enhance the skills of young researchers, faculty members, and practitioners through a variety of capacity-building activities including fellowships, custom-designed short courses, biennial workshops, and networking and outreach activities. CEEPA has awarded 25 research grants to African researchers. It has also trained about 170 researchers, environmental practitioners, and policymakers in topics related to environmental economics. In 2012, CEEPA underwent an external evaluation covering the period from 2006 to 2012. The evaluation concluded that CEEPA has made an important contribution to enhancing continent-wide capacity in the field of environmental economics. The research projects supported by CEEPA have influenced policy regimes in the countries where the projects were conducted. The evaluation also raised a number of important issues and recommendations that the CEEPA Secretariat should address in future programming. This includes taking the capacity-building value of each project more into account, specifically focusing on improving young environmental economists' research skills, rather than higher-skilled researchers, through mentoring and training. CEEPA will use this grant to strategically address the core recommendations from the evaluation. Specifically, this project will allow CEEPA to: - provide research support through a competitive grants program; - design and implement basic and advanced-training courses to strengthen capacity in environmental economics in Africa; - reduce the brain drain by offering fellowships to outstanding researchers and postgraduate students; and, - provide opportunities for environmental economists in Africa to network and learn from each other.