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CEGA expands Global Fellows program through partnership with Northwestern’s Global Poverty Research Lab

Press Release
Spring 2023 CEGA Fellows based at Northwestern University visit UC Berkeley. From left to right Ashagrie Demile, Eugenie Rose Fontep, and Halefom Nigus | Diego Garcia-Serna

BERKELEY, CA (March 8, 2023) – A groundbreaking program that trains scholars from East and West Africa in rigorous research methods at UC Berkeley expanded to Northwestern University in January with the arrival of three fellows from Cameroon and Ethiopia.

A partnership between the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA), a research hub at Berkeley that generates innovative evidence decision makers use to reduce global poverty, and the Global Poverty Research Lab (GPRL) at Northwestern, the expansion marks an important milestone in the evolution of the Global Fellows program.

“The spread of CEGA’s Global Fellows model to new host campuses is a great way to increase the program’s scale while building a stronger pipeline of scholars working to produce research that is relevant for public policy in their home countries,” said Edward Miguel, Faculty Co-Director of CEGA and Professor of Economics at UC Berkeley. “I’m excited to continue working together to grow the program and expand its impact.”

Since 2012, CEGA has mentored more than 70 scholars through rigorous research fellowships at UC Berkeley, more than doubling its fellows network in the last five years. The fellows audit courses, work with faculty mentors, and expand their networks, developing greater technical fluency and connections to inform decision-making at the highest levels.

In 2022, GPRL co-directors Dean Karlan and Chris Udry reached out to Miguel to discuss how their center could deepen its investments in African scholars. A partnership was formed, and CEGA provided technical support over the ensuing 12 months as GPRL developed their program. Scholars who train at Northwestern will be recognized as a CEGA Fellow at GPRL.

“We’ve closely followed CEGA’s fellowship program for many years and appreciated their leadership in the capacity-building space,” said GPRL Faculty Co-Director Dean Karlan. “When Chris and I decided to expand our programs at GPRL, CEGA was the natural partner.”

Last week, GPRL staff and the inaugural fellow cohort traveled to Berkeley for a week-long visit, where they joined three fellows of the CEGA spring cohort currently on campus. The convening of the two campus cohorts brought the staff and faculty communities together to strengthen campus bonds and better understand the fellows’ studies and experiences. CEGA Fellows at GPRL also met with UC Berkeley faculty, PhD students, and staff, and attended CEGA-hosted events.

“It’s been a great experience so far at GPRL, and I was thrilled to share my research progress with the Berkeley community last week. I also had a privilege during this visit to connect with renowned professors from Berkeley, including Jay Graham and Rosemarie dela Posa, with whom I share common research interests,” said Eugenie Rose Fontep, a CEGA Fellow at GPRL.

To learn more about how CEGA can advise your organization on ways to engage African scholars, please contact CEGA Project Manager Chelsea Downs.


About CEGA

The Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA) is a hub for research, training and innovation headquartered at the University of California, Berkeley. We generate insights that leaders can use to improve policies, programs, and people’s lives. Our academic network includes more than 150 faculty, 65 scholars from low- and middle-income countries, and hundreds of graduate students–from across academic disciplines and across the globe–to produce rigorous evidence about what works to expand education, health, and economic opportunities for people living in poverty.

About GPRL

Established in July 2017 at Northwestern University, the Global Policy Research Lab (GPRL) is an academic hub for empirical development economics. GPRL aims to use empirical evidence and interdisciplinary engagement to understand drivers, consequences, and solutions to poverty issues around the world.

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Matt Kertman, Director of Strategic Communications


Katie Dallia, Director of Finance, Operations & Outreach

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