The overarching goal of IAG’s Ethiopia Program is to support the nation’s long term socio-economic development through study and dialog on different socio-economic issues. We promote the use of dialogue, research and analysis to help address tackle critical concerns of the economy, strengthen the links between key social institutions (i.e. the government, educational institutions, civil society, etc.) and pave the way towards greater development. The Ethiopia Program’s specific objectives are:
- To support efforts made by the government to bring about socio-economic development through research and consultations on various socio-economic issues
- To provide opportunities to the public to voice their views on socio-economic issues that affect their interests and to make policymakers aware of the interests and aspirations of citizens.
- To provide research support to Parliament and enhance the knowledge of parliamentarians as well as improve the effectiveness of Parliamentary Committees at federal and regional levels
- To facilitate intergenerational knowledge transfer by organizing forums designed to tap the knowledge archives of Ethiopian scholars and seasoned statesmen.
- To promote mutual understanding of the social and cultural values among the youth through cultural exchange and tour programs.
Since its inception, the program has undertaken a diverse range of innovative and significant projects, leading IAG to be seen as a forerunner amongst organizations in Ethiopia working in the areas of policy research, public information, and dialogue. Highlights of our core activities as well as those planned for the near future are described below. The core activities of IAG's Ethiopia programs are:
- Public Policy Forum
- Parliamentary Internship Program
- Public Opinion Surveys
- InterGenerational Dialog Forums
- Youth Tour and Cultural Exchange Program
Public Policy Forum: In the hopes of promoting dialogue on key social and economic issues, IAG has organized a number of forums, conferences and symposiums. These discussions have attracted the participation of guests and speakers with diverse perspectives including, representatives from Ethiopian government, civil society actors, academicians, experts and media, creating a conducive space for genuine public discourse. The topics discussed in these forums are cross-cutting from agrarian reform to challenges faced by the private sector and its contributions to the economy. In the coming years, IAG plans to continue organizing symposiums—at least 2 every year—on critical socio-economic issues including food security and poverty, higher education, the distribution of growth in urban and rural areas and the linkage between growth and gender balance, amongst others.
Inter-Generational Dialog Forums: These forums are intended to provide an opportunity for senior Ethiopian scholars and seasoned statesmen who have made significant contributions to their country in different fields to share their cumulative experience and knowledge with students and young professionals. It is designed to foster the culture of dialog and debate among members of different generations. The forums take on different topics depending on the area of expertise of the key speakers. The Inter-Generational Dialog Forums have enabled young professionals to benefit from the knowledge and experience of renowned Ethiopian senior citizens, including Ambassador Brehanu Dinka (Foreign Policy and Diplomacy), Dr. Yayehirad Kitaw (Health Policy), and Ato Maeregu Bezabih and Ato Tsegaye Tadesse (Journalism). In 2009, two forums were organized; one on Journalism and the other on Reconciling the Rights of National Groups and Regional Minorities. Both events attracted a large number of young professionals, scholars and students who were able to engage with experienced and well-respected veterans.
See papers commissioned for Economic Symposium
ETHIOPIA PROGRAM: ACTIVITIES PLANNED FOR 2010