- Welcome to our second quarterly newsletter of 2021, rounding up the latest news and views on all our research, training and education programmes.
- Here we look forward to a series of seminars with top speakers from the OECD and several Dutch universities. We then look back over recent news, including a winning entry to a World Bank call for PhD fellow Mariajose Silva Vargas, and a reveal-all interview with our director, Bartel Van de Walle, covering everything from academia to astronomy, beauty to 'bitterballen'!
- As ever, our guiding themes are the push and pull of international development: innovation through science and entrepreneurship (#SDG9), and governance through public policy analysis (#SDG16).
- This April, we welcome speakers from across the Netherlands, including the universities of Amsterdam, Groningen and Utrecht, who’ll be sharing their latest research on issues such as gender, technology and bargaining power; local responses to emigration; and circular start-ups.
- Then in May and June, we can look forward to at least two PhD defences. In the first, Caio Torres Mazzi will focus on ‘Learning, capabilities and governance in global value chains’ to understand how GVCs influence the performance of manufacturing and favour economic development (4 May 2021). In the second, Bart Kleine Dieters will take ‘A quantitative approach to the right to education’ looking specifically at concept, measurement and effects (28 June 2021).
- In late 2020, the International Monetary Fund launched a Youth Fellowship Contest to give aspiring young leaders a chance to share their views on COVID-19 responses and global efforts to build back better. Out of around 700 submissions from around the world, our EPRM alumna Krithiga Narayanan was chosen as one of 26 IMF fellows.
- Affiliated researcher and PhD alumnus Dr Carlos Cadena Gaitán was named one of the ‘21 Heroes of 2021’ by the Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative, a global forum co-sponsored by UN-Habitat, the Asian Development Bank and the German Development Agency. He was recognised for his work in Medellin, Colombia, to make the city streets less polluting and safer for cyclists – and women in particular.
- To mark International Day of Women and Girls in Science, 11 February 2021, editors from the UN Regional Information Centre for Western Europe (UNRIC) interviewed PhD fellows Racky Balde and Tatenda Zinyemba, who've both been studying the impact of COVID-19 in Africa.
- When it comes to innovation in mining, what are the challenges and opportunities for Latin America? A new journal article takes the examples of Australia and Canada to highlight high-tech windows of opportunity for equipment and service suppliers along the value chain in Latin America. Youth employment is so important for social justice and sustainable development, but is it truly a priority for policymakers? A new book chapter discusses the hopes and dreams for decent careers of the next generation, set against the backdrop of educational choices and labour market outcomes. See more of our March publications, including two book chapters, four journal articles and seven working papers.
- Have COVID-19 measures affected food prices in low to middle-income countries? A new paper finds that stricter lockdowns increased food prices among major urban markets, although impacts were also linked to mobility and previous reliance on trade. Read the full working paper. Is artificial intelligence starting to have an effect on the economy? A new article finds clear evidence of improved labour productivity, especially among small and medium-sized enterprises and the services industries. See the full journal article. Read all our February publications, including three journal articles, five working papers and one PhD dissertation.
- How can Artificial Intelligence help rural entrepreneurs succeed in business? A new article applies five machine learning techniques, providing new insights into factors related to trust, awareness of current trends, use of media tools, etc. How can private sector initiatives, including venture start-ups and social impact funds, best contribute to the 2030 Agenda? The key, according to a new paper, is to ensure innovations are aligned with public policy impact. How can firms in developing countries build new capabilities in local, regional and global value chains of services? A new article investigates governance and learning in the IT-enabled services industry of South Africa. See more of our January publications, including one UNESCO report, two journal articles and four working papers.
- Apply by 15 June 2021* for our Master of Science in Public Policy and Human Development, a double-degree programme from Maastricht University and United Nations University (*15 July 2021 for EU/EEA applicants).
- What can you expect? A concentrated one-year programme; around four hours of class per day; training in small international groups; skills workshops, presentations and debates; personal guidance; and a challenging but rewarding programme!
- Read all about our Master’s programme on our dedicated blog, written by and for our staff, students and alumni. One recent article looks in-depth at a student plan to improve the sustainability of Dutch farming, while another weighs up regional responses to the global pandemic.
- What are your talents? What fulfils you? What next steps do you have planned for your career? If you're not sure about the answers, then join Coachcafé at 19:15 sharp this coming Monday, 19 April 2021.
- Designed for recent alumni from Maastricht University (who graduated up to five years ago), you'll be talking to a coach and various other alumni from a range of different backgrounds and disciplines. The highlight of the event will be ‘Living LinkedIn’ -- which aims to dial up all your hopes and dreams!
- Until next time, in early July, please check our social media accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. You can also stay up-to-date on all our major publications via our monthly ‘First Impressions’ roundup.
- Meantime, check out our ‘Walking for SDGs’ page. Between 20 March and 8 May 2021, UNU-MERIT staff and students will walk, run, cycle, etc., in support of SDG 13 on 'Climate Action'. We'll do this in the real world, but also virtually with the aid of Google Maps and online sharing platforms. What's more, UNU-MERIT will sponsor the kilometres we complete, and all donations will go to the NGO of our choice: Instituto Terra in Brazil.
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