1.1 Brief History

The Economic Policy Research Network (EPRN) was established in 2008 to contribute in addressing the existing capacity gaps in economic policy research and analysis in Rwanda. Since its creation, EPRN has a number of partners which include the GIZ, UNECA, UNDP, WB, MINECOFIN, BNR, NISR, IPAR and UR.

EPRN is a membership-based Research Institution (think tank) aiming at strengthening the capacities of individuals and organizations active in or with an interest in economic policy research and analysis. EPRN Rwanda therefore responds to economic policy gaps resulting mainly from lack of quality and informative research and the challenge of human capacity in terms of limited numbers of economic researchers and active involvement.

A. Vision : “To become an international leader in economic policy research and analysis”.

B. Mission : “To contribute to the evidence based economic policy making by providing high quality research, building capacity and creating networking opportunities”.

C. Main activities

C.1. Research

EPRN operates with full-time consultants and associates to deliver commissioned work from both public and private sectors. The key consultants are drawn from the EPRN NGO membership of more than 1,600 members and affiliates with high level qualifications in respective disciplines. Most of Research Team Members are senior lecturer of University of Rwanda who are at the same time active members of EPRN.

EPRN offers customized professional support and solutions to public and private institutions in the form of research services, project evaluations, capacity building, strategic planning, institutional assessments, financial management, social inclusion, change management and organization re-engineering, trainings, coaching, mentoring and advisory services in policy reviews and formulation guidance in different sectors.

EPRN has competence to undertake assignments in diversified sectors that include socio-economic development, WASH, Agriculture and Agri- business development, Tourism, Product development and design, Organization capacity development, Disaster Risk Reduction, Gender equality, inclusiveness and citizen participation and Knowledge management (including management of large data sets).

C.2. Policy Dialogues/debates

  • Organize Policy Dialogues/debates on emerging issues
  • Conduct Awareness Campaigns to inform the general public about new policies and key research findings
  • Convene special sessions for community local leaders to discuss about real world issues at community level
  • Organize networking events and workshops to brainstorm sector issues (agriculture, social protection, health, education…)

C.3. Capacity Building

EPRN envisions an environment where policy makers, senior managers, practioners, private sector players and other stakeholders have the knowledge, tools and capacity to improve performance, service delivery and ensure sustainability. EPRN does :

  • Conduct Professional Trainings
  • Conduct Public lectures in universities and other institutions
  • Provide Mentorship services to local researchers to enhance their capacities in applied research
  • Organize study tour for local researchers to learn from best practices from other similar research institutions/think thanks on policy analysis and influencing policy making.

D. Our Networks

EPRN has collaborative agreements with the academic, research institutes, NGO’s and government agencies. In academic partnerships are with University of Rwanda on research on policy issues. In Rwanda, EPRN has working relations with Ministry of Economic Planning and Finance (MINECOFIN), National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) and the National Institute of Statistics Rwanda (NISR). EPRN has long time collaboration with economic policy research institutes like Kenya Institute of Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA) in Kenya, The Public Policy Institute (PPI) of Uganda and the Economic and Social Research Foundation of Tanzania. EPRN has partnered with the GIZ, World Bank and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

E. Our quality assurance system

EPRN has a research and consultancy policy committee that provides guidance and framework for research and consultancy. The committee is supervised by a quality assurance board to oversee efficient and effective delivery of assignment to clients. EPRN has standard operating procedures and internal controls on service delivery to clients. Currently Quality assurance committee is composed by experienced researchers : Prof Kigabo Thomas, Prof Alfred Bizoza, Prof Herman Musahara, Dr Charles Ruranga, Dr Marceline Kamande and Dr Rukundo Johnson.

1.2 Our Technical Capabilities

EPRN leverages its strengths in Research and publication throughout its National network chapters. This enables us to understand local distinctions for programmes in the areas of Governance, Livelihoods, Humanitarian affairs, Gender and justice Programmes design, development and implementation with national foundation. We are a major research institution with committed practice in large data handling and management. Our entry point is initial indulgence with understanding of unique challenges of managing development.

EPRN has built a strong reputation as a leader in research, programme development and reviews, monitoring and evaluation. EPRN draws its combined experience of over a century from strong force of up to 2,000 experts in various professional fields, having conducted various assignments both individually and severally. Some of the key institutions served by EPRN in the recent past include MINECOFIN, BNR, FES-Rwanda, UNDP and, GIZ. In addition to this, EPRN senior staff also effected consultancy services to USAID, World Bank, IFC, UNCDF, DFID and Government of Rwanda various Ministries and Departments. We shall confidently apply these institutionalized experiences and the unrivalled advantage to support Oxfam in Rwanda in this upcoming OCS end-line evaluation while fitting our analyses of results to themes and area specific contexts.

EPRN is a multi-disciplinary team of professionals in research including Sociologists, Gender experts, Economists, Strategists, Experts in WASH and Operational Research gurus, Educationists, Agribusiness Experts, public health experts, Public Finance specialists, Disaster/Emergency Management Specialists with vast hands on experience in qualitative and quantitative researches, data analysis and reporting on socio-economic evaluations and reviews, including impact assessments. The teams also present vast experience in Programme assessments and management, baseline studies and evaluations.

These experts are retained by EPRN depending on assignments. However, EPRN has 12 regular staff. Specifically, a number of our Associate professionals specialize in socio-economic analysis, gender mainstreaming, household and beneficiary surveys, cost analysis and participatory approaches ; outcome and impact surveys for various sectors ; vast knowledge in Good Agricultural practices and service delivery perception surveys. EPRN strength lies in its ability to provide cutting edge research methodologies based on participatory approaches with entrenched ethical culture that is the use of sound techniques to identify and assess issues of critical relevance to our clients ensuring that we deliver value for money to any engagements we are entrusted with. EPRN is dedicated to professionalism and quality while focusing on client satisfaction’s as a priority. Overall our experts have extensive analytical skills and capability to transfer practical skills and advice on rural development issues, strong coordination, networking and relationship building.

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