On May 24-26, 2023, the African School of Economics (ASE) hosted a three-day methodological workshop as part of the project titled “Socio-Economic Impact of COVID-19 on African Economies, Social Cohesion, and Governance: Evidence from Benin, Burkina Faso, and South Africa.” The goal of the project is to contribute to the policies and strategies to address the immediate and longer-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on economies, social cohesion, and governance in Benin, Burkina Faso, and South Africa. The hybrid workshop was hosted at the ASE campus but was also attended globally by online participants as well as some government officials. Participants included researchers, representatives of government institutions, academic experts, as well as ASE Master’s students. Among the government institution participants in the workshop were the Institut National de la Statistique et de la Démographie (INStaD) and various other Beninese government ministries.
The project is funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC- Canada) and carried out in partnership between ASE in Benin, the Groupe de Recherche et d’Analyse Appliquées pour le Développement (GRAAD) in Burkina Faso, and the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) in South Africa. The objective of the workshop was to establish connections and foster collaboration between internal researchers, external researchers, and key stakeholders so that the methodologies and the outcomes of this research project can be shared, as well as offer some feedback and contributions.
Throughout the three days, speakers discussed the methodologies of the study, data, and the preliminary findings. Facilitating the workshop were Ségolène Eyebiyi and Marcel Vitouley, both researchers at ASE. On day 1, Ségolène Eyebiyi delivered the opening remarks and the presentation of the study’s global methodology. There were also two other presentations from Boikanyo Moloto (CSVR) and Gountiéni Damien Lankoandé (GRAAD) on the methodology applied in South Africa and Burkina Faso respectively. Day 2 featured data presentations by speakers from ASE and GRAAD. Marcel Vitouley (ASE) provided summary statistics on quantitative data collected from a survey in the course of this project, and on secondary data collected from institutions, mainly from the Institut National de la Statistique et de la Démographie (INStaD). Diane Ruth HIEN (GRAAD) outlined both the quantitative and qualitative data collected within the framework of this project.
The workshop finished on day 3 with exclusively ASE speakers. Ian Heffernan and Lucienne Talba discussed two scientific productions from this study “National Identity, Altruism, and the Agreement with COVID-19 Containment Policy in Benin” as well as the “Impact of COVID-19 on Domestic Violence in Benin.” Two blogs from this study were showcased by Pyrrus YEHOUENOU and Michaël FOSSOU, Master’s students at ASE. Afterwards, Leonard Wantchekon offered some closing remarks, and Ségolène EYEBIYI outlined the next steps of the project. Following each presentation, both online and in-person participants asked insightful questions and were able to interact and learn from the various research methods. Through these in-depth discussions, participants outside the project were able to gain a better understanding of the project’s goals and the research process, and could offer their own insights into the project. By having access to ASE’s researchers as well as their extensive international partners, students become immersed in the forefront of research and knowledge production that will be used to positively impact the African continent.
Preliminary dissemination of the research will occur in June 2023 and final dissemination will occur in July 2023, resulting in the release of a book by August 2023.
Check out policy briefs, blogs, articles, and reports from the project here: