BERCEA Project

 

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Haramaya University has won a two-year competitive research grant titled Building Ethiopian’s Research Capacity in Economics and Agribusiness (BERCEA) from the Global Development Network (GDN) under the grant scheme named ‘Building Research Capacity in Least Developed Countries’. BERCEA is one of the four proposals selected by GDN from 250 completed applications submitted for the grant from around the world.

 The general objective of BERCEA Program is to contribute for producing outstanding researchers in economics/agricultural economics (at least 25% female). The Program is specifically designed to

  1. improve the quality of MSc theses and PhD dissertations in economics and agribusiness;
  2. enhance skills of PhD and MSc students in problem-solving research;
  3. improve mentoring skill of academic staff;
  4. improve research skills and expertise of staff; and
  5. improve networking and collaborations nationally and internationally.

BERCEA includes three research capacity building interventions:

  • Small research grants,
  • Training workshops, and
  • Staff exchange programs for mentoring skills.

Under its small research grants, it intends to partially alleviate the research budget constraints of PhD and MSc students in undertaking quality thesis and dissertation research. The Program will grant 8 PhD and 16 MSc students a maximum of $3500 and $2000 each, respectively, based on applicants’ concept notes related to the pre-identified research thematic areas of the program.

Grant awardees will also participate in training workshops to be organized on selected analytical and applied courses. The training workshops will be organized on four thematic areas or courses:

    a. Empirical Research Methods in Economics;
    b. Analysis of Cross-sectional, Timeseries and Panel Data Using Stata and EViews;
    c. Analysis of Multidimensional Poverty and Inequality Using DASP (Distributive Analysis Stata Package); and
    d. Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) Modeling and Analysis Using GAMS (Generalized Algebraic Modeling System).

BERCEA Program has a total budget of $140,000 to run for two years, November 2014 to October 2016. The Program has been designed and coordinated by Dr. Mengistu Ketema and Dr. Degye Goshu, from the School of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, Haramaya University.

Major Activities undertaken by BERCEA program in the first 6 months

  1. Awarded 8 full MSc thesis research grant;
  2. Awarded 5 partial PhD dissertation research grant;
  3. Offered training on ‘Empirical Research Methods in Economics’ for 13 PhD and MSc research grant awardees. Five senior staff members have involved in offering the training;
  4. Produced two standard training modules on ‘Empirical Research Methods in Economics’;
  5. Started preparation of the training workshop on ‘Analysis of Cross-sectional, Time-series, and Panel Data Using STATA and EViews’; and
  6. Awarded MSc Thesis Research Grant for 3 female MSc students.

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For further information about the GDN please visit: http://www.gdn.int/