Applied Research Seminars

 

Each year, students from the Graduate Institute’s interdisciplinary master programmes in international affairs (MIA) and development studies (MDEV) carry out, as part of their curricula, research projects worth 9 ECTS for international and non-governmental organisations, public institutions and the private sector.

As part of its mission, the CFD is collaborating with the Master in International Affairs (MIA) by giving academic and financial supports to Masters students interested in pursuing research on finance and development related topics as part of their degree.

The topics addressed in the 2015 and 2016 Applied Research Seminars are the following:

 
1. Infrastructure in LDCs: more than minding the gap (with UNCTAD) – completed in December 2015 (final report available upon request)
 

Key Questions: What are the main factors contributing to infrastructure bottlenecks in LDCs? What are the estimated infrastructure needs of LDCs, and the breakdown of the infrastructure needs at the sector level, in the selected case studies? What kinds of frameworks are available and commonly used by financial institutions, governments and the private sector to identify, prepare, appraise and evaluate infrastructure projects? How do these frameworks differ across different funders given the different development stages of infrastructure projects? What are successful examples of infrastructure development in case studies that can be used as best case practises?

Partner Organisations’ Supervisor: Rolf Traeger, Chief, Least Developed Countries (LDCs) Section, Division for Africa, United Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
CFD Academic Supervisor: Prof. Nicolas Berman, in collaboration with Dr. Dominic Eggel, Senior Research Advisor.
MIA Student Team: Ngoc-Han T. Tran and Mohamed Mehanny.

2. The linkages between rural labour-based infrastructure investment and the sustainable development goals in LDCs (with UNCTAD) – to be completed in December 2016
 

Key Questions: What happens to the rural local economic development process when economic activities cease being hampered by inaccessibility, thanks to the construction, rehabilitation and/or maintenance of a rural infrastructure transport project in an LDC? How and why has the distribution of rural household income and consumption changed since the implementation of the chosen labour-based infrastructure project? Which processes determine the rural welfare at the household level?

Partner Organisations’ Supervisors: Rolf Traeger, Chief, Least Developed Countries (LDCs) Section, Division for Africa, United Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD); and Christian Kingombe, Economist, LDCs’ Section, Division for Africa, UNCTAD.
CFD Academic Supervisor: Prof. Lore Vandewalle, in collaboration with Dr. Dominic Eggel, Senior Research Advisor and Mauricio Pinzon Latorre, Research Assistant.
MIA Student Team: Elizabeth Nixon, Kritee Sharrma, and Lydia Greve.

3. Trade and poverty: an assessment of high-level development strategies (with the World Bank) – to be completed in December 2016
 

Key Questions: Trade has been a key driver of poverty reduction in recent decades - but to what extent have development strategies pursued by multilateral development banks and development agencies focused on this link, and on actions to maximise the positive impact and minimise the risks of trade integration on people living in extreme poverty? Can any pattern be identified in the approach taken by different organisations, or across different regions? Can any change be identified in the way in which development strategies have addressed the links between trade and the four key dimensions of extreme poverty used in the WB-WTO analytical framework, namely rural poverty, informality, gender inequality, and fragility/conflict?

Partner Organisation’s Supervisor: Marcus Bartley Johns, Trade Specialist, World Bank
CFD Academic Supervisor: Prof. Rahul Mukherjee, in collaboration with Dr. Dominic Eggel, Senior Research Advisor and Mauricio Pinzon Latorre, Research Assistant.
MIA Student Team: Alina Fetisova, Victoria Olmos, and Jose Gomes Da Costa Filho.