7th IPAR-Rwanda Annual Research Conference

THEME: Policies and Programmes to Support Poverty Reduction

DATE: February 22nd, 2018

VENUE: Marriot Hotel, Kigali, Rwanda


Concept Note

1. Background 

If the world is to ‘Get to Zero’ extreme poverty this will require, not just ensuring that men and women currently living in poverty are able to escape it, but that new individuals do not become impoverished and that those who have escaped poverty do not once again fall below the poverty line. In Rwanda, poverty and extreme poverty have fallen from respectively 57 and 39 percent to 39 and 16 percent in the last 10 years. These figures are encouraging. However, in order to keep the pace of poverty reduction, there is a need to understand the factors driving this trend and how to foster it.

To achieve a better understanding of how escapes from extreme poverty and deprivation can be sustained over time, the Institute of Policy Analysis and Research (IPAR-Rwanda) and the Chronic Poverty Advisory Network (CPAN) have worked together on a research project “Understanding and supporting sustained pathways out of extreme poverty and deprivation”. The project has been informed by two overall questions: (1) ‘What factors shape pathways into and out of poverty and people’s experience of these, and how can policy create sustained routes out of extreme poverty in ways that can be replicated and scaled up?’;(2) ‘What political and institutional conditions are associated with effective poverty reduction and development, and what can domestic and external actors do to promote these conditions?’ As a result of an in-depth desk and field analysis, the IPAR-Rwanda and the CPAN are producing a national report on poverty dynamics in Rwanda, which they aim to present and discussed at the 7th IPAR’s Annual Conference. The conference will take place the 22nd of February at the Marriot Hotel, Kigali, Rwanda.

A similar research has also been carried out in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ethiopia, India, Pakistan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Vietnam, some of which will also be presented at the conference. The conference will be a major opportunity for researchers, the academia, Rwandan decision-makers, civil society organisations (CSOs) to learn from international experience as well as be exposed to the latest research on this issue.

This year, IPAR-Rwanda’s 7th Annual Conference is entitled “Policies and Programmes to Support Poverty Reduction“. The conference will therefore cover research carried out, on poverty reduction and the associated initiatives and policies to “Get to Zero” as well as on inequality reduction. The conference will also serve as the launch of the Poverty Advisory Group in Rwanda. This group will be hosted at IPAR-Rwanda and will consist of a team of research experts on poverty reduction. The goal of the network is to recurrently inform decision makers on the priority factors and strategies leading to poverty and extreme poverty reduction in Rwanda.

2. The IPAR-Rwanda 7th Annual conference

The conference will develop over one full day to report on the findings of research in Rwanda on poverty, poverty dynamics (sustaining escapes from poverty, stopping impoverishment and tackling chronic poverty). Additionally, the event aims to bring keynote speakers from other developing countries which Rwandan policy makers like to learn from as well as one or two neighbouring African countries. The overall aim of the conference is to provide policy makers with the latest evidence on policies and programmes which can assist in achieving positive poverty outcomes and sustained escapes out of poverty, both from Rwanda as well as countries to which Rwanda looks or could look for inspiration. The key issues to be discussed will revolve around economic growth rates and patterns and policies; social protection; human development; transformational social, economic and environmental change; governance and institutions.

Speakers will include key decision-makers and/or senior researchers from Rwanda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, India, and United Kingdom. A crossnational presentation on how to achieve sustained escapes from poverty, and another about the efficacy and implementation of graduation style programmes will be part of the final presentations to Rwandan decision makers. In addition, there will be a good spread of presentations and papers on the Rwandan experience and beyond. In preparation for the launch of the Rwandan Poverty Advisory Group, IPAR-Rwanda will organise a reference group meeting, reconvening a small group of Rwandan stakeholders which has accompanied the research in Rwanda. This group will make suggestions about the conference, suggestions on who should be invited, and to what extent and how it should be open to the public and streamed online.

3. Target audience

The conference is aimed to bring together primarily national policy makers, civil servants from the key development ministries and organisations, other stakeholders (CSOs, development partners, the media) and researchers to present and discuss how poverty and inequality can be achieved. At the same time, the event aims to shape and prioritise with the target audience the policy recommendations that could inform the future planning process in Rwanda and contribute to bring positive change to the poverty and inequality reduction rates in Rwanda. While the audience is primarily Rwandan, the several speakers reporting on other countries’ experiences will bring an international dimension to the event in terms of content as well as participation.

4. Structure and Venue

The conference will revolve around one and a half days of presentations and panel discussions. It will involve about 10 speakers, some of which will deliver keynote presentations, as well as around 100 participants from academia, ministries and representatives from IPAR-Rwanda and ODI. A detailed agenda will be shared with participants closer to the event.

The conference would be structured as follows:

1. Opening statements and keynote speech 8.30 -10 am

2. Presentation on Poverty and related Policies and initiatives in Rwanda and the Region 10.00 am –12.00 am

3. Networking Lunch Break 12.00 am – 2.00 pm

4. Presentations on Poverty Dynamics in Rwanda and other countries (papers to be available in advance on websites) 2.00 pm – 4.00pm

5. Panel Discussion and recommendations 4.00 pm – 5.00 pm

6. Launch of the Rwandan Poverty Advisory Group and concluding remarks 5.00pm - 5.30pm

A lunch will be provided to facilitate networking and further discussions among participants.

5. About the Institute of Policy Analysis and Research (IPAR-Rwanda)

The Institute of Policy Analysis and Research- IPAR-Rwanda is Rwanda’s leading independent think tank with a reputation for high quality, cutting edge research and policy publications. IPAR-Rwanda has been operational in a wide range of fields structured around five themes: 1) Agriculture, Rural Development and Settlements 2) Social Development; 3) Governance, 4) Economic Growth and Transformation; 5) Environment and Natural Resources Management.

IPAR-Rwanda became fully operational in May 2008. Since then, IPAR-Rwanda has successfully implemented several research projects, which has made its profile more outstanding. The fact that our offices are located in Kigali gives us a home base from which to work and provides us with adequate administrative and technical support. IPAR-Rwanda staff has had wide consultancy and research experience internationally and have collaborated and consulted with institutions in Europe, America and many countries in Africa. Major IPAR partners are Government of Rwanda, Civil society, the private sector, development partners, universities and other Think Tanks regionally and internationally. We collaborate with major international organizations, including GIZ, USAID, DFID, World Bank, Action Aid Rwanda, UNDP, and World Vision among others.

Overall, the institute has worked well with private organizations, governmental and non- Governmental organizations in undertaking project assessments and developing monitoring and evaluation programs, strategic plans and resource mobilization strategies. We also have a highly professional relationship with other think tanks in Africa as well as a competent and well-qualified team that is able to undertake any activity which falls within our mandate.

IPAR-Rwanda's mission is to enhance evidence-based policy making through research and policy analysis, promote a culture of dialogue and debate to improve policy and impact change in Rwanda and beyond.

6. About the Chronic Poverty Advisory Network(CPAN)

The Chronic Poverty Advisory Network (CPAN) is hosted at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), London. A loose network of researchers, policy makers and practitioners across 16 developing countries, CPAN works as a research hub and focuses on generating evidence about tackling chronic poverty and getting to zero extreme poverty and deprivation. Its network includes individuals and organisations working on chronic poverty. These form a wide databank of experts, which has been mobilised to respond to requests from policy makers for research-based advice and to develop the evidence base on chronic poverty and poverty eradication.

CPAN developed out of the Chronic Poverty Research Centre (CPRC), an international partnership of universities, research institutes and established NGOs that provided research and policy guidance on the reduction of chronic poverty. Set up in 2000 as a response to the MDG 2015 target of 'reducing poverty by half', the CPRC raised the profile of 'the other half' – those who would still be poor by 2015 despite current anti-poverty policies. CPRC worked to assess and explain the extent and nature of chronic poverty in developing countries. As such, CPAN has a long tradition in providing sound and reliable research evidence on poverty dynamics. Its strategic advantage lies in seventeen years’ experience on poverty research and its work builds on a solid conceptual framework that not only allows identifying the causes of poverty but also suggesting solutions that fit different institutional and social contexts.

CPAN has also played a relevant role in development debates at the United Nations, in Europe and the US. From its London hub at the Overseas Development Institute, CPAN works on a regular basis with European development governmental agencies, such as with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ – part of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development - BMZ), the European Commission, the UK Department for International Development, and the Swedish government, Swiss Development Co-operation. In North America, the United States Agency for International Development has appreciated and used its work and has supported some of it, as has Global Affairs Canada. They have regularly supported CPAN work in terms of both project development and in most cases in terms of funding.

CPAN’s mission is to ensure that chronically poor people are not overlooked by policy-makers by providing evidence to improve the effectiveness of policies and programmes at reducing chronic and extreme poverty.