Updates on R4D Workshops in Vietnam and EthiopiaJeff Goecker
Earlier this year, the COVID-19 crisis caused the postponement of LASER R4D Workshops in Hanoi, Vietnam and in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Indiana University, the lead consortium partner for these events, has been working closely with the LASER team, regional partners, and USAID to re-envision and reschedule these important gatherings. Planning efforts will maintain a careful eye towards ongoing public-health considerations and pandemic responses.
In Vietnam, LASER has recalibrated its approach to proceed with an RFA followed by a Post-Award R4D Workshop in late 2020 or early 2021. The RFA, due for release in summer 2020, seeks proposals in priority areas of (i) Air and Water Pollution, and (ii) SME Competitiveness. The subsequent R4D Workshop will focus on showcasing LASER awards as examples of embedded research translation, as well as facilitating continued connections among academic researchers and development practitioners, and policymakers. The event will also provide training in Comprehensive Success Factor Analysis (CSFA) methodologies and share best practices towards ensuring local sustainability of the LASER approach.
For Ethiopia, LASER continues to work closely with the USAID Mission to determine the best timeline and format for either a Pre-Award or Post-Award R4D Workshop. Priority research-gap areas have been identified as (i) Measurement of Resilience, and (ii)Youth Civic Engagement and Leadership, and LASER is currently undertaking virtual Key Informant Interviews and CFSA surveys with Ethiopia-based experts to continue to refine these topics while travel restrictions remain in place.
Pre- and Post-Award R4D workshops create opportunities and support (i) promotion of CSFA and sustainability of LASER approaches; (ii) collaboration of researchers, practitioners, and policymakers and enhanced understanding of Embedded Research Translation paradigms; and (iii) active engagement of policymakers with researchers and practitioners in constructive debate and effective adoption and implementation of evidence-based findings and solutions to development challenges. All R4D Workshop events are by invitation only.