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Development Account Projects

Research network for development policy analysis

The ability of developing countries to sustain growth and development depends increasingly on their participation in the global economy through trade and finance. Many developing countries, including least developed countries, need trained economic analysts who can provide national decision makers with timely analyses and forecasts of economic developments and policy options. The international macroeconomic research network maintained by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs help to provide such training and assist in national, regional and international sharing experiences on these matters. The implementation of the project enhances the ability of national economic analysts and decision makers in developing countries, to use internationally accepted techniques and frameworks to examine and forecast the macroeconomic performance of their countries.

Objective:

To strengthen the capacity of research institutions in developing countries to conduct development policy analysis

Expected accomplishment:

  • Enhanced ability of national economic analysts and decision makers to use internationally accepted techniques and frameworks to examine and forecast the macroeconomic performance of their countries

Effects and Impact:

The objective of the project was successfully achieved due to effective implementation and coordination between DESA and the University of Pretoria (UP), as well as three international consultants. The project's achievements were reinforced by the choice and continuous participation of all the selected country representatives. By the time of the project's completion in December 2003 participants had taken full ownership of the outcome and the execution as well as its sustainability and extension.

The project matured into an independent network of expertise in Africa, which satisfies the ultimate goal of ownership and sustainability. The expertise of the network now has the potential to improve coordinated policy analysis on a regional basis, allowing policy makers to evaluate the impact of world economic conditions on the regional economy and their country. It therefore supports the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), as it represents the grass-roots implementation of the African dream toward the realization of an African Union.

However, in order to guarantee the recognition of the models, they have to be expanded to include a more elaborated supply side. Furthermore, the models have to be introduced to policy makers by an independent party. To fully appreciate the impact of the project (essentially, more informed policy design and policy analysis based on model results), one must gauge the quality of macroeconomic management in participating countries as the techniques and frameworks are increasingly applied. This newly established network of expertise will have long-term and sustainable potential in contributing to the generation of policy solutions for Africa.