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Ukwu I. Ukwu is a Professor of Economics since 1983, with specialization in development economics and public policy. He has provided research and consultancy to many federal and state government institutions as well as international organisations such as UNDP, World Bank, ECOWAS and UNICEF. He was Director, Institute for Development Studies, University of Nigeria and Director of Research, National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies. Ukwu, I. Ukwu (2007). “Towards Effective Public-Private Partnership in Private Sector Development. Keynote Address by the Guest Speaker at the 18th Enugu International Trade Fair Colloquium on the Theme: Enhancing Private Sector Development through Effective Policy Measures”, Enugu, 27 March 2007.
Ukwu, I. Ukwu (2007). “The Challenge of Public Relations in Nigeria’s New Democracy”.
Enugu, 13 July, 2007. Theme: Nigerian Institute of Public Relations Dr. Sam Epelle Annual Memorial Lecture, 2007.
Ukwu, I. Ukwu (2007). “Planning With Facts: NBS and the Challenge of Data Ownership and Collaboration in MDG Statistics Management”. Theme: Data Harmonization on MDGs organised by the National Bureau of Statistics and the MDG Office Abuja, June 2007.
8.0 PUBLIC POLICY ADVOCACY
8.1 ENUGU FORUM (Development Policy Forum) Enugu Forum is a civic platform, created and run by the Institute, for evidence-based policy advocacy. The purpose is to debate, propose and advocate policy options based on concrete evidence and sound analysis. It brings together diverse stakeholders including government officials, private sector operators, civil society groups, independent think-tanks, academics and NGOs to exchange views and examine critical social and economic issues affecting the country. It seeks to promote stakeholder interaction and shared understanding of policy alternatives. The primary objective is to create and sustain a platform for promoting the interactions among researchers, professionals and policy makers, thereby enhancing the links between research and policy making process. Its members include non-governmental organizations (NGOs), private sector organizations (PSOs), business associations, religious (faith-based) organizations, professionals, academics and researchers, businesspeople and government technocrats. It is supervised by a Steering Committee and managed by a Coordinating Committee hosted by the Institute.
A cross section of the high table at an Enugu Forum Policy Seminar on Investing in Stocks. delivered by Mr. John Ogar (standing) of CSL Stockbrokers Ltd. in Enugu in March, 2007. He is flanked (from left to right) by Elder Kalu U. Kalu,, Patron Enugu Forum, Mr. Victor Agunwa, a discussant, and Prof. Eboh, Executive Director, AIAE During the year, Enugu Forum Policy Seminar focused on the Challenges and Prospects of the Nigerian Stock Market. The Seminar, held on 21st March 2007, was carried out in collaboration with CSL Stockbrokers Ltd., Lagos.
9.0 SOME INTERNATIONAL NETWORKS AND AFFILIATIONSAfrican Economic Research Consortium (AERC). AIAE Associate Fellows are active participants in the research programme of the AERC, Nairobi, Kenya. The Institute also receives institutional support in the form of book grants from AERC. During the year, AIAE established formal institutional partnership with AERC in capacity building, institutional development and research networking.
USAID REFORMS project – Collaboration with Development Alternatives Inc. U.S.
Through the subcontract from Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI), the Institute intensified the implementation of aspects of the USAID NIGERIA REFORMS project.
Centre for Study of African Economies (CSAE), Oxford University, UK. The Institute collaborates with the CSAE in a number of areas including training, research and dissemination.
African Society for Ecological Economics (ASEE). The Institute is exploring arrangements to conduct collaborative research with member organizations of the African Society for Ecological Economics. Joint research projects are being prepared in response to international calls for proposals.
African Technology Policy Studies (ATPS) Network. AIAE is entering into institutional partnership with ATPS for the purpose of deepening technology policy research in Africa.
Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD): The Institute collaborates with the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, under the auspices of Prof. Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate and member of AIAE Board of Directors.
10.1 AIAE RESEARCH PAPER SERIES AIAE Research Paper Series presents technical research results from work done by the Institute and/or its Affiliate scientists and researchers. The purpose is to disseminate research and analyses that informs policy debate and choices. It is directed to a professional audience and readership among economists, social scientists in government, business as well as in universities, research institutes and international development agencies. Before acceptance for publication, the Papers are subjected to rigorous independent technical reviews to assure scientific quality. AIAE Research Paper Series seeks to engender high quality scientific and intellectual discourse on key development questions, and hence, enhance strategic understanding of policy and programmatic options.
10.2 AIAE POLICY BRIEF SERIES
This Series publishes short, soft and general-interest papers. The objective is to provide rapid and easily comprehensible policy- and development-oriented discussions. Policy Briefs are targeted at a wide audience comprising policy makers, policy advisors, bureaucrats, nongovernmental organizations, academic community, civil society groups and international
development partners. Policy Briefs seek to identify practical development challenges and options for solving them.
10.3 ENUGU FORUM POLICY PAPER SERIES Enugu Forum Policy Paper Series publishes the proceedings and outcomes of workshops, conferences, seminars or public lectures held by the Enugu Forum. The Series provides documentation of the topical presentations, debate, comments and perhaps consensus at the Forum. It is intended to disseminate the Forum’s intellectual discourse to a wider audience. The essence is to stimulate broader policy debate and promote multi-perspective dialogue on policy options. Enugu Forum Policy Papers constitute an advocacy instrument to canvass alternative development solutions and policy roadmaps, and hence promote appropriate policy responses to development questions. The Series also draws attention of government, private sector and civil society to salient dimensions of contemporary development challenges in Nigeria.
10.4 BECANS BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT REPORTS
During the year, the Institute published the first-ever Business Environment Reports on Nigerian States. It flagged the commencement of the BECANS report series on business environment across Nigerian States. This maiden publication of the series includes thirty six (36) different
reports. They are as follows:
from stakeholders on Institute’s activities and programmes and functions as a medium of interaction among Associate Fellows and with the Institute.
Two editions of the Newsletter were published during the year 2007. These are:
11.0 THE LIBRARY AIAE envisages a library that is a leading resource centre of up-to-date economic and development policy literature in the country. The collections include books, journals, periodicals and electronic literature, from purchases, donations and the Internet. Library users increased by thirteen (13), giving a total of ninety one (91) at the end of 2007.
Training: The Librarian attended a one week training course on Computerized Documentation System/Integrated Software for Information Storage (CDS/ISIS) which is a database package the library is using for the book titles and the authors. The training was organized by the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), Abuja, from 27-31 August 2007.
The programme is an information storage package created by UNESCO to encourage institutions to create database for their Queeneth Anyanwu, the librarian at the AIAE library.
Collection Development: The library’s collections (hard copy) were increased by ninety five (95) copies including journals and books. The sources were the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), African Economic Research Consortium (AERC), Nordic Institute and others. Currently, the Institute can access thousands of e-journals in digital (virtual) libraries including Journal Storage (JSTOR) www.jstor.org and Online Access to Research in the Environment (OARE) www.oaresciences.org and FAO-AGORA www.aginternetwork.org databases.
12.0 IMPACT OF PROGRAMMES AND ACTIVITIESInfluencing Public Policy In line with its objective of improving evidence-based decision making in public and private sectors, the Institute has impacted significantly on public policy in many respects. During 2007, the main vehicle for influencing public policy was the BECANS programme. Many states became aware of the role they could play to improve the business environment in their respective jurisdictions. Some took steps to remove some bottlenecks identified by the BECANS. Others have invited the BECANS project team to organize enlightenment and sensitization for the public service employees in order to promote better understanding of the business environment challenges and to identify the key areas for policy, regulatory and administrative reforms.
The Enugu Forum (Development Policy Forum) has improved links between researchers and policymakers. It has afforded academics and researchers vital civic platform to test their ideas, theses and propositions. The feedback from the Development Policy Forum sharpens the orientation of researchers to improve the relevance and impact of research to society and economy.
Strengthening scientific capacity Through its research networking, AIAE has impacted positively in connecting researchers to national and international knowledge centres. Our programmes have provided opportunities for academics, scientists and researchers to conduct problem-solving research.
The library facilities have continued to offer up-to-date literature on economics and development. Post-graduate students and users from different parts of the country have benefitted from the library resources.
The Peer Learning Seminars have helped to improve the research proficiency and analytical skills of Associate Fellows. New knowledge, skills and competencies acquired by participants have contributed to improved academic and scientific quality, proficiency and productivity.
Carrying out cutting-edge policy research The Institute has impacted very significantly on state-level economic policy benchmarking in Nigeria. Since 2005, it has continued to produce leading authoritative research evidence on the progress and impact of economic reforms at the state level. AIAE played a pioneering role in Nigeria’s first-ever benchmarking of economic reforms at the state level, otherwise known as the SEEDS benchmarking. The exercise was first done in 2005 and the second round followed in
2006. In the same vein, AIAE is the first Nigerian research institution to conduct the benchmarking of the state-level business environment, otherwise known as BECANS. Both SEEDS benchmarking and BECANS assessment exercises have contributed immensely to evidence-based monitoring of policy and institutional reforms at the state level.
13.0 PRIORITIES AND PROSPECTS FOR THE YEAR 2008 Looking forward to 2008, there are bright prospects for sustainable research programming, greater research-and-policy networking, institutional strengthening and development of research capabilities.
Working with partners, we will review the BECANS research instruments, survey methods and data collection techniques, towards implementing the second round of surveys, data analysis, report writing and dissemination. State-level advocacy committees will be initiated to drive the BECANS enlightenment and advocacy activities in respective states. The Institute shall consult and dialogue with state-level stakeholders – government, private sector and civil society – to identify and prioritize reform measures for removing the weaknesses in the business environment, as revealed by BECANS.
The year 2008 will feature the articulation of AIAE five-year strategic plan, 2009-2014. The strategic plan, christened Project Leading-Edge, will produce the framework principles and methodology that will guide research programming and institutional development, in the next five years. It will articulate the niche goals, strategies and programmes for the period 2009It seeks to develop a validated framework plan, against which AIAE will benchmark/evaluate its competitive edge, organisational development and operational effectiveness. Project Leading-Edge is a strategic planning exercise aimed at fostering the AIAE mandate in line with its founding vision and mission. It will serve as operational paradigm for consolidating upon the achievements and progress of the Institute since inception.
Looking backward, Project Leading-Edge will afford the Institute opportunity to critically analyse its achievements and progress, examine its changing environment and attendant challenges and proffer strategies and measures for advancing its leading-edge position as an economic research think-tank. On the other hand, as a forward-looking exercise, the strategic plan will proffer ways and measures of aligning research programming and institutional development to the unfolding opportunities and challenges.
Furthermore, the Institute will continue to develop its information and communication technology (ICT) resources for improved networking capabilities. We shall work to develop more strategic sources of funding in order to ensure sustainable long-term programming. The Peer Learning Seminar series will be strengthened to upgrade skills and competencies of research staff and Associate Fellows. Also, the AIAE Databank Unit will be enhanced towards making a leading shop for credible, up-to-date and robust statistical database on key national, sub-national and international economic and development indicators.