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Working together to achieve the SDGs

'It was great to have enough time to discuss each paper. I received useful and frank feedback. The topics are relevant for everyone. I noticed a healthy gender balance.'

These were some of the comments expressed at our research review workshop in Dar es Salaam in February, hosted by our partner UONGOZI Institute (UI). Close to 50 people from several countries, universities, sectors, and institutes gathered together to discuss research on sustainable development in Tanzania.

Research review workshop in Tanzania 24-25 February 2020

If you have ever wondered how research papers are monitored during the research process, or how the collaboration in an international project works, here our UNU-WIDER team shares their experiences from Tanzania:

‘The research review workshop featured eleven presentations on livelihoods, industrialization, gender, and trade integration — topics which are important to the policy processes in Tanzania and the region. The feedback that the authors received will stand them in good stead in revising their papers for publication.

A noteworthy feature of the workshop was the involvement of officials from the Tanzanian and regional governments, which allowed for a direct interaction between the researchers and the policy makers. The organization of the workshop showed the valuable collaboration that UNU-WIDER has with UONGOZI Institute, and I look forward to more such initiatives with UI in the future.’
Kunal Sen, UNU-WIDER Director

‘In March 2019, we had a brainstorming workshop in Dar es salaam to discuss and identify specific topics under the project. Thus, the research review workshop was a clear indication of the progress made since then. The quality of discussions, including comments from the reviewers, was impressive!

I learned for instance that although off-farm wage employment had increased, most of the additional female waged jobs in Tanzania were agricultural wage employment, while males are more evenly split between agricultural wage and non-agricultural wage employment. It is important to have such concrete findings coming from our collaborative work; research findings with clear messages that help inform policy decisions.

It was a great pleasure for me to meet and interact with the researchers and reviewers, as well as with UNU-WIDER colleagues from Helsinki since I am currently based in Dar es Salaam.’
Maureen Were, Research fellow and Tanzania project’s focal point

‘Our collaborative research project has come a long way from the inception workshop. Gender is a cross-cutting theme in the project. Despite recent developments in gender equality in Tanzania, judging by the preliminary implications of the presented research, it seems that much needs to be still done. 

For example, improving women’s education and their human capacities have the potential of improving innovation and performance of Tanzanian companies. Drought spells were shown to affect negatively infant health; there the resulting resource deprivations experienced by the mother may play a big role.  These are important insights not only for Tanzania but also for many other countries.

After working in the project for more than a year now, it is wonderful to see that all sides are engaged in the work. The ownership of the collaboration is strong and we are constantly learning from each other. The next step will be publishing the first reviewed working papers in the summer. Stay tuned for those!’
Milla Nyyssölä, Research associate

Research review workshop Dar es Salaam 24-25 February 2020

‘Our trip to Dar es Salaam was productive and motivating. Having never visited Tanzania before, I was really pleased to be asked to participate in my professional capacity as UNU-WIDER’s publications manager. The workshop was constructive, allowing us to take stock of progress and agree on next steps forward.

Also it was informative to discuss general publishing matters with our partners at the UONGOZI institute, and get an idea of the issues they face. UNU-WIDER has been publishing — both in-house and via external publishers — for some decades now, thus there is valuable institutional experience and knowledge that can be shared.’
Lorraine Telfer-Taivainen, Editorial and Publishing Associate

‘I had only been working in this project for some weeks before participating in the workshop, so this was an excellent opportunity to learn more about what is being done and to meet everyone involved. I especially enjoyed listening to the views from different participants on policies that are related to for example livelihoods, pensions, industry, and gender, and how they affect people in Tanzania. I felt that having these conversations enrichened the exchange of ideas and mutual understanding.’
Teresa Undurraga Alessandri, Project management services

‘I was surprised by the vivid discussion at the workshop. The reviewers had certainly read the papers and prepared well, but I was surprised at how accurate and abundant feedback other participants gave. This is an indication that the right people were invited and the topics cover themes that are important for all.

This was my first time in Tanzania. I found it a delightful experience, so green and clean with the plastic bag ban in place, something we could perhaps learn from in Finland.

This visit was also a useful opportunity for me to share lessons and issues with the communications colleagues at UONGOZI Institute. The everyday challenges seem to be strikingly similar all around the world! But I left Tanzania with a feeling that by working together the solutions to even bigger problems can be found.’
Anna Toppari, Communications associate

UNU-WIDER Tanzania project team February 2020 Dar es Salaam
UNU-WIDER Tanzania project team in Dar es Salaam: Milla, Kunal, Lorraine, Teresa, Maureen, Anna
 

The views expressed in this piece are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Institute or the United Nations University.

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