Higher Education Global Evidence Summit: Research to Practice Sessions - Private Sector Engagement
University Student Engagement With Agro-Processing MSMEs; Implications for Higher Education Training
- Emmanuel Baidhe, Project Administrator, Makerere University
- Julia Kigozi, Senior Lecturer, Makerere University
- Stella Ssendagi, Project Administrator, Makerere University
This session shared lessons learned from a project that enhances the practical skills of Undergraduate Students in the Agricultural Engineering, Food Science, and Nutrition Majors at Makerere University in Uganda through their engagement with Agro-processing MSMEs. The students and processors are empowered alike mainly by ensuring the MSMEs meet Quality Standards for Local, Regional, and International Markets and by harnessing opportunities to improve the Processing/Manufacturing capacities of the MSMEs. This session uniquely incorporated video clips of students and processor success stories and two brainstorming sessions to mitigate already unearthed challenges, the major one being inadequate processing facilities. The brainstorming sessions allowed participants to share innovative financial models that Agro-processing MSMEs can utilize to alleviate the challenge(s) identified and training models in institutions of higher learning that can allow for the Integration of on-the-job practical skills in the Curriculum.
Hard Lessons from a Decade of MCC’s TVET Investments
- Evan Borkum, Principal Researcher, Mathematica
- Ryan Moore, Director, Monitoring and Evaluation, Millennium Challenge Corporation
- Ira Nichols-Barrer, Senior Researcher, Mathematica
- Marcel Ricou, Associate Director, Human, and Community Development, Millennium Challenge Corporation
Since 2007, the Millennium Challenge Corporation has invested over $340 million in TVET programs in seven partner countries. Independent evaluations of these programs’ “first generation” revealed that MCC failed to achieve the intended labor market outcomes. More recent programs that operationalize private sector involvement, including in Georgia, have shown more promise. Key lessons include:
- A Demonstrated Skills Gap Should be a Precondition for Investment in TVET
- TVET Should Have Two Primary Goals: Placing Graduates in Jobs with Improved Incomes and Providing the Private Sector with In-Demand Skills
- Focus First on Short-Route Accountability – Especially between Employers and Service Providers
- Don’t Forget to Strengthen Long-Route Accountability… Especially When You Can’t Address the Short Route
- TVET Interventions Alone are Unlikely to Resolve Pre-existing Inequalities in the Labor Force, but TVET Has a Role to Play
Meaningful Partnership for Context-Driven Knowledge Production: Evaluating USAID Inclusive Education Projects
- Christopher Johnstone, Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota
- Valerie Karr, President, Inclusive Development Partners
- Niraj Poudyal, Assistant Professor, Kathmandu University
- Mean Vidbol Ratanak, Senior Project Officer, Cambodia Disabled Persons Organization
Research in development contexts can be fast-moving and complex. This pace is often at odds with the functioning of academic institutions and the generation of evidence-driven knowledge and research. The Multi-Country Study on Inclusive Education presents an innovative approach for conducting evaluative research in partnership with small businesses, organizations of persons with disabilities, and academia. These partners can harness lived experience and international and national expertise in inclusive education. This presentation explored how to partner meaningfully with local organizations and persons with direct and lived experience with disability to produce context-driven and actionable knowledge for development actors and academia. Participants asked questions and contributed to the presentation throughout the session to generate meaningful dialogue on the “how” we partner and “how” we produce significant and evidence-based findings in the field that are relevant for both local and international actors.
Demystifying Private Sector Engagement: Lessons Learned From USAID’s Partnering Processes
- Priyanka Brunese, Research Scientist, Purdue University
- Tatiana Pulido, Senior Director of Evidence, Learning, and Data, Private Sector Engagement Hub, USAID
- Susan Ross, Senior Private Sector Engagement Advisor, USAID
- Yuehwern Yih, Professor, School of Industrial Engineering, Purdue University
As a private sector organization, have you felt frustrated communicating with and understanding the needs and processes of the development partners? As a development actor or academic institution, have you felt stuck in starting or keeping private sector partners engaged in addressing development challenges in the education sector? The presenters aimed to shed some light on the different ways in which the private sector can be formally engaged, provide a systematic starting point to co-designing these engagements such that theories of change incorporate the private sector’s perspectives, and provide actionable recommendations on managing partnering experiences. The presenters discussed research findings from a three-year study of USAID’s private sector partnering process grounded in eight field-based, private sector engagement experiences of different partners across sectors and geographic regions.
Engaging Private Sector to Develop Skills for 4th Industrial Revolution
- Miguel Primo Armendariz, Team Leader, Development Alternatives International (DAI)
- Felix Ramirez, Program Manager/Relevance Lead for Skills for Prosperity Program, International Youth Foundation
- Elizabeth Vance, Program Director, Systems Change for Workforce Development, International Youth Foundation
In this session, participants learned how the advent of the fourth industrial revolution and accompanying transformation in the nature of work, employers are increasingly demanding higher-order thinking skills applied to automation, remote sensing, and networking technical skills that are not adequately developed through traditional teaching methods. The International Youth Foundation (IYF) and Development Alternatives International (DAI) presented, through a case study from Chihuahua, Mexico, the Skills for Prosperity Program’s innovative approach to aligns interests and curricula to ensure young people are prepared with the technical and 21st-century skills good jobs require. The session concluded with an interactive, design-thinking workshop to identify the skills gap in our own sector.
LISA 2020 Network Innovations For Building Statistics and Data Science Capacity
- Olusanya Olubusoye, LISA 2020 Network Coordinator, University of Ibadan Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Statistical Analysis (UI-LISA)
- Tonya Pruitt, LISA 2020 Network Coordinator, Virginia Tech
- Atinuke Adebanji, Director, KNUST, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) LISA
The goal of the Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Statistical Analysis (LISA) 2020 program was to create a network of 20 statistical collaboration laboratories (“stat labs”) in developing countries by 2020. Having exceeded this goal by 15, the network spread across higher education institutions in Africa, South Asia, and Brazil has become the engine of transformation in their respective domains. This session gave a panorama view of the operations, activities, and sustainability of these 35 stat labs. After presenting the results of 30 independent sustainability experiments in the network, speakers from two top-performing LISA 2020 stat labs in Nigeria and Ghana shared lessons learned from their statistical collaboration projects with participants. They also reflected on how they have employed the power of statistics and data science to find solutions to local development challenges.