GDN launched a call for expressions on 13 February, 2017 for research teams from Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania interested in producing high-quality empirical research on new industrial policies in Africa. Based on rigorous criteria linked to the proposed research question, methodology, data collection strategy and demonstrated capabilities of each proposal, seven research teams were shortlisted from Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya and Nigeria to attend a research capacity building workshop to revise their proposals in Nairobi on June 30 and July 1, 2017. Another team from Ghana, which was preselected through an initial call for proposals launched in October, 2015, was also invited to attend the workshop to strengthen their proposals.
The workshop, jointly organized and lead by GDN and the World Bank, gathered leading academics specialized in the field of industrial competitiveness strategies who will support the program as advisors to the research teams: Antonio Andreoni (Senior Lecturer in Economics at the Department of Economics, SOAS University of London), Nobuya Haraguchi (Industrial Research Officer, UNIDO), John Page (Senior Fellow in the Global Economy and Development Program, Brookings Institution), and Abebe Shimeles (Acting Director of the Development Research Department, African Development Bank). Also in attendance was Charles Sabel (Maurice T. Moore Professor of Law, Colombia Law School), who is a member of the program’s Scientific Committee.
During the workshop, teams and the program collaborators discussed the latest trends and ideas on industrial competitiveness strategies – and the methodologies used to examine them – with a focus on developing countries. Through these discussions, teams gained general feedback on their research proposals, and later engaged in individual discussions with the advisors and program supporters, to revise and improve their proposals.
Teams submitted their revised proposals on July 12, which were reviewed by the World Bank and Scientific Committee. Three teams have now been selected for their high-quality proposals, and will receive grants of up to US $41,500 to implement their projects from July, 2017 to October, 2018.