Since 2012, EASST has sponsored 20 East African researchers to complete visiting fellowships at UC Berkeley. While at Berkeley, fellows receive deep training in impact evaluation through coursework and close faculty and PhD student mentorship. Upon completing the fellowship, researchers are eligible to receive seed funding to conduct trainings, research, and to work with policymakers.
“I am an epidemiologist and I had never considered the role of Economics in public health until I learned about Development Economics through EASST. This knowledge has made me understand and better appreciate public health problems and how they impact development in resource-limited settings. My research focus has now changed from mere public health concerns to how they impact development among the poor.”- Jayne Byakika Tusiime
Jayne, who came to Berkeley in Fall 2016, is currently serving as a Senior Lecturer and Head of Department of Public Health at Busitema University in Uganda. Her current research is on determining the impact of solid floors on soil transmitted infections among children in Uganda. As a BITSS catalyst, starting in October she will be conducting awareness workshops about research transparency in universities across Uganda.
In June of this year, Jayne received an EASST Policy and Partnerships Grant. Through this grant she will design an impact evaluation of the Community Health Extension Workers (CHEWs) program, launched by the Ministry of Health in Uganda. In addition to fostering connections with policy makers and CEGA partner institutions in East Africa, an important component of the EASST Fellowship is for fellows to go back to their home institutions and build capacity at the local and institutional level to conduct training and research, especially in the area of impact evaluation. To attain this objective, fellows are awarded catalyst grants upon return to their home country. With the support of the catalyst grant, Jayne is working on a curriculum for an Impact Evaluation course to be introduced at Busitema University this academic year.
“EASST has been a booster to my career. Before I attended the fellowship at UC-Berkeley, I was a junior lecturer, and have since been able to raise research funds and publish in reputable journals and consequently promoted to the position of Associate Professor. As a result of training fellow faculty and students on impact evaluation, I have been considered for a position in research and extension where I will be setting up an evaluation institute. With EASST I have grown so much professionally and I have the right skills to position myself for the future in research, scholarly activities and impact to the society.”- Amos Njuguna
Amos, who came to Berkeley in Spring 2013, is currently an Assistant Professor of Finance at the United States International University in Kenya. In 2016, he conducted a primary study on financial products available to micro-agro-processors in Kenya. The project also examined the incompatibility of product design and the needs of agro-processors. Through this study, Amos custom- designed financial products for the agro-processors, to test via experimentation. With the support of his catalyst grant, Amos lectured on experimental methods for impact evaluation at a workshop held in 2015 by the Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund (SIEF) at the World Bank and UNICEF.