Program Director’s Message
The inaugural meeting for new awards from Colombia, Ethiopia, and Vietnam, organized over two days (August 9 & 11, 2021) was a great success with more than 200 attendees from across the world. The agenda of the inaugural meeting was two-fold: 1- to bring the awarded research teams together to share their research topics with each other and with the USAID and the Country Mission staff; 2- for LASER to share award guidelines, protocols, reporting expectations, and compliance requirements. On the first day we began with opening remarks from the LASER AOR, USAID headquarter team, and the LASER leadership team. Both USAID and LASER highlighted their commitment towards the success of the research projects and their support toward their execution. The Mission staff too shared their thoughts and comments on their collaboration and partnership, especially towards the uptake of the research products of these $2.5 million awarded projects.
During the first day we invited the research teams to introduce themselves, their partners, research objective, and research plan, and to share an overview of how their research will benefit their respective countries. These awarded projects are in the areas of Youth, Resilience, Air Pollution, Water Pollution, Small and Medium Enterprises, Integrated Rural Development and Venezuela Migration Response. Summaries of the projects are available on LASER PULSE.org/research. On the second day we delved deeper into the processes of MEL and an overview of LASER’s Embedded Research Translation methodology. The second day culminated into understanding the needs and requirements of the research team in order to make their work successful. Much of this newsletter, and LASER work of late, is focused on our new awards in Colombia, Ethiopia, and Vietnam. We are proud of the successes of these individuals and institutions in receiving these awards, and look forward to keeping you, our network, aware of their successes and best practices as they address critical development challenges.