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In this special end of year issue of GDNews, we take a look back at the top stories and highlights from 2016. Please do tweet or post your favorite ones on social media #GDN #Bestof2016. Good wishes for a new year filled with many opportunities to mobilize knowledge for development.

Happy Holidays!

P.S. Don’t forget to save the date for an event in New Delhi, India on improving governance and service delivery in India in early 2017 (see below).

 
A DYNAMIC CONFERENCE ON EDUCATION FOR DEVELOPMENT

GDN held its 17th Annual Global Development Conference in Lima, Peru on 17-18 March 2016, on ‘Education for Development: Quality and Inclusion for Changing Global Human Capital Needs.’ Organized in partnership with the Ministry of Education in Peru and leading Think Tank, GRADE, at the Universidad del Pacifico, the conference was sold out, with 390 attendees, mainly from developing and transition countries. For some of the latest education trends, read these presentations, media stories, the Research Monitor, or watch these highlights.
AWARDING INNOVATION AND RESEARCH EXCELLENCE

Six teams of early-career researchers from developing countries were recognized for research excellence under GDN's Global Development Awards Competition on the sidelines of the Annual Global Development Conference in Lima, in March. With the support of the Ministry of Finance, Government of Japan, the Awards Competition recognizes excellence in policy-oriented research, supports the research capacity development of researchers in developing countries and funds innovative social development projects benefiting marginalized groups in the developing world. Read more about the finalists and their work in Indonesia, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, PeruNicaragua and Macedonia.
CONNECTING RESEARCH AND POLICY

In March 2016, GDN supported researchers to undertake quality, policy-oriented research on public policies to improve the quality of education in small countries in Latin America and the Caribbean during a policy lab on the sidelines of the Global Development Conference in Lima. Nine teams of researchers met with policy actors to discuss the most pressing research questions that policymakers in the region grapple with. The policy lab was hosted by GRADE, a leading development think tank in the region. A short film features highlights.

PRIVATE FINANCE FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT


In a piece featured in the OECD Development Co-operation Report 2016: The Sustainable Development Goals as Business Opportunities published in July, GDN President, Pierre Jacquet argues that engaging the private sector in financing sustainable development requires stable and predictable regulatory environments and policy commitments. In addition, he highlights the need to make social objectives compatible with market-led profit requirements.
PROMOTING AFRICAN VOICES FOR DEVELOPMENT

GDN organized high-level events promoting the perspectives of African researchers, as part of a USAID-funded program through which it is supporting local research and policy dialogues on the effectiveness of aid delivery in sub-Saharan Africa, in partnership with the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC). Watch three panels at the Brookings Institution, held in partnership with the AERC and the African Growth Initiative (AGI) in October. Or, find out about a policy dialogue in Dakar, Senegal on aid, financial inclusion and inclusive knowledge for development in December.
IMPROVING RESEARCH SYSTEMS IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

Following the successful conclusion of a pilot of its ‘Doing Research’ program in 11 developing countries, GDN has developed a framework to scale up the initiative, which will be tested in Africa, before roll out. The program documents the challenges of doing research in developing countries, and aims to improve the functioning of social science research systems, leading to more informed development policies. Read more about the program in the Doing Research blog series. See findings from the studies in Bolivia, Paraguay and Peru, Niger, and Indonesia.
DATA SHARING TO STOP TRAFFICKING 

Following a successful consultation on standard operating procedures in Myanmar in June 2016, case workers and law enforcement officers in Myanmar and India have begun using an online repository of cases as a transnational referral mechanism to protect and repatriate victims, and as evidence with which to prosecute traffickers. The online tracking system is an initiative of Impulse NGO Network, which is scaling up its efforts with the support of GDN and the The Japan Social Development Fund Award (JSDF), funded by the Ministry of Finance, Government of Japan.
HOW CAN JAPANESE KAIZEN LEAD TO DEVELOPMENT?

GDN launched a new program with the Japan International Cooperation Agency Research Institute (JICA-RI) in August to document how the Japanese managerial approach, Kaizen, works. Kaizen means change (kai) for good (zen), and encourages continuous learning and improvement for industrial growth and development. The two-year initiative involving local researchers in the developing world will document and analyze the effectiveness of Kaizen. Results will feed policy discussions on managerial capacity and work systems, as well as on the social structures needed to boost economic growth.
TO GOVERN AND SERVE

A new book, edited by GDN’s Guillermo Perry (Board member) and Ramona Angelescu Naqvi (Director of Programs) captures lessons from governance and public service delivery experiments in Latin America. Titled, ‘Improving Access and Quality of Public Services in Latin America: To Govern and To Serve,’ the book is based on results from a 30-country study on education, roads and water services.  Three successful elements of governance emerge: better information for users, increased accountability through paid services, and an enabling political culture. Order via Palgrave-MacMillan or Amazon.
A SUCCESSFUL PROGRAM ON MANAGING NATURAL RESOURCES

An independent evaluation report on GDN's Natural Resource Management – Natural Wealth Accounting program  found that the project "has been very successful, in terms of relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and creating the potential to achieve impact and sustainability." The program strengthened knowledge and capacity on natural wealth accounting in Madagascar, Mauritius and Morocco. GDN is using recommendations from the evaluation to actively scale up the program in 2017. Partners and supporters interested in collaboration, please contact Pierre Bertrand.
HUMAN DISPLACEMENT IN COLOMBIA 

Environmental economist, Ana Maria Ibañez, shared insights from her rigorous research on the economic and human costs of the conflict in Colombia, in conversation with GDN’s Head of Communications, Madhuri Dass. With support from GDN through its Awards competition, Ibañez expanded her research to understand the mechanisms that were causing large welfare losses due to displacement in the country. Read her book (2008) and a recent interview, and join Friends of GDN on LinkedIn for more alumni news.
70,000 LIKES ON FACEBOOK

GDN received over 70,000 ‘likes’ on its facebook page this year, continuing to reach new supporters and partners across the world through the platform.  Facebook remains a significant social media platform for disseminating key research, information and news from GDN. The majority of GDN’s followers are located in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, in line with its policy to reach developing-country researchers. To follow GDN on Facebook, like our page, and join us on our other social media platforms, TwitterLinkedIn and Youtube.
IMPROVING GOVERNANCE AND SERVICE DELIVERY IN INDIA

The International Initiative for Impact Evaluation, Campbell Collaboration and GDN will be hosting a half-day event on leveraging national and global evidence on governance and services delivery in India. More details coming soon! To pre-register, write to Yashika Kanoljia on ykanojia@gdn.int
The Global Development Network (GDN) is a public international organization that supports high quality, policy-oriented, social science research in developing and transition countries, to promote better lives for their citizens. For more information please visit www.gdn.int or write to communications@gdn.int
Images Credits: 1.Barriopixel/GDN 2.Barriopixel/GDN 3.Barriopixel/GDN 4.Reto Fetz/Flickr 5.UN Photo/Lucien Rajaonin 6.dr_tr/Flickr 7.Madhuri Dass/GDN 8.DFID - UK Department for International Development/Flickr 9.Dogymho/Flickr 10.Frank Vassen/Flickr 11.Via Ana Maria Ibañez 
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