CEGA has long invested in the rigorous research skills and networks of the next generation of East African social scientists through its East Africa Social Science Translation (EASST) collaborative. While this initiative–and it’s deep network of scholars from low- and middle-income countries–continues to evolve and grow, it has recently inspired a new, independent institution: The Network of Impact Evaluation Researchers in Africa (NIERA). NIERA was formed by former fellows at the the 2017 EASST Evidence Summit in Addis Ababa who were motivated to “scale” learnings from EASST, build on CEGA’s investments in research and training, and ultimately increase the scope, rigor, and influence of impact evaluations in East Africa.
Initially hosted at the U.S. International University in Kenya, NIERA will eventually become an independent institution that harnesses local research talent to address critical policy challenges. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has provided seed funding for it’s critical “Year Zero,” as EASST fellows undertake a rapid needs assessment and stakeholder analysis, and develop a strategic plan for the coming year. This process is already underway: NIERA founders met at the 2018 EASST Summit in Kampala to further refine their goals, and hired a small staff to support Year Zero activities. CEGA is excited to work alongside NIERA to achieve our shared goals of advancing evidence-informed public policy in East Africa.
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