CIES - 25 años construyendo conocimiento para mejores políticas

Our History

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The Consortium was created in 1989 as a Canadian project, named Economic Research Consortium and was constituted of five members. During its first ten years, the Consortium managed to prevent brain drain, supported a critical mass of researchers which now have a major presence in the Peruvian scenario, accumulated a knowledge base on key policy issues, promoted evidence-based dialogues and began approaching the public sector as an strategic stakeholder.

In the early days CIES was mainly an academic consortium with a strong economic focus and unsystematic linkages with policy decision makers. However, since 1999 CIES research agenda has become increasingly multi-disciplinary and more policy-oriented

In 1999 the Project became a national institution. It was legally constituted, first with 24 institutional members and now with 45 located in 12 regions. The main characteristics of the new Consortium were the following: a) Research funds assigned through competitive means; b) Stronger emphasis on capacity-building; c) Stronger emphasis on policy influence; d) Diversification of funding sources.  During this second stage, the Consortium created a unique competition scheme in the country focused on applied social sciences, CIES Annual Research Competition which expanded its knowledge base on multidisciplinary policy issues.  CIES organizes an Annual Seminar where topics of national and international relevance are discussed. In that event the winners of the Annual Research Competition are recognized. Aiming to enlighten the debate and the exchange of experiences CIES invites prestigious experts and amongst other has had two economics Nobel Prize awardees, Joseph Stiglitz y Finn E. Kydland participate in our 2007 and 2008 seminars respectively.

Some of the policy influence achievements accomplished by CIES during this stage were In 2001, CIES network on macroeconomic policy promoted a change in monetary policy:  shift from emission goals to inflation targeting. This policy change supported the upturn of the Peruvian economy. [1] In fact, CIES associates have dominated the debate on macroeconomic policies in the last 20 years. CIES sponsored research on social protection has contributed to generate a consensus about the need to reform social programs and budget allocation schemes to maximize efficiency and pro-poor impact. CIES “Elections 2006” project promoted the organization of the first programmatic debate between the runner-off parties in the Presidential general elections. The integration and international trade agendas executed by the current Garcia´s administration -including the Free Trade Agreement with Canada- is largely inspired by a policy document on Competitiveness prepared during the “Elections 2006” project.

On the other hand, it is necessary to mention that CIES associates have also benefited from other research incentives funded by diverse national and international sources.  This has been possible through a series of action-research projects that have been managed by the Executive Office with the main purpose of generating more research and policy influence opportunities for CIES associates.   For example, a DFID-funded program on Trade and Poverty made possible to developed three research competitions that awarded 10 grants.

During recent years CIES has improved its linkages with the Peruvian state. The Public Sector Consultative Council, formed by ministers and other high level authorities, was created in 2008. The purpose of this council is to identify research needs from top decision-makers to inform CIES research agenda, while also promoting interaction of academics with policy makers. This council has already had three successful sessions with an important ministerial turnout (about five ministers per meeting). Regarding the Legislature, CIES has renewed a strategic cooperation agreement with Congress in December 2008, enabling us to continue capacity-building initiatives -targeted at legislators and advisors-, as well as evidence-based policy dialogue. [2] The latest innovation is the Presidential Academic Dialogue Program, which began in May 2009, allowing the President to benefit from the best academic talent to discus policy options on key issues.

CIES has been building a relationship with the private sector. Since 2006, the Consortium has prepared a policy brief for the Annual Entrepreneurs Conference (CADE) giving us more visibility among the business community. Furthermore, CIES has already installed a Private Sector Consultative Council, which gathers CEO or top Officers from large extractive, finance or service enterprises. A further step in building trust with the private sector has been Scotiabank´s sponsorship to CIES Annual Research Competitions 2008 and 2009 by awarding three junior researchers up to 15,000 USD per year [3].

CIES has developed networks of trust with decision-makers, which have opened new opportunities for constructive engagement between researchers and policy-makers.  In this process we have learnt to deal with the complexities of policy influence processes. CIES policy influence efforts are based on the dissemination of policy-relevant ideas resulting from CIES sponsored research, while also on its convening capacity to generate multi-institutional spaces for policy engagement.

Currently, CIES is nation-wide research council with two unique features: 

  1. It performs as a broker, creating interfaces between knowledge and policy,
  2. Its institutional activities are oriented to create capacities among researchers, public officers and the media.  These features have become our institutional strengths which lie at the core of this strategy.

[1] This research network adapted a model of the Canadian Central Bank to the Peruvian reality. CIES ceded it in use to the Peruvian Central Bank, through an institutional agreement.
[2] For example, in cooperation with one of its associates -The National Statistics Bureau- CIES has organized a training workshop directed to top legislative advisors on statistical data management and analysis (2008).  CIES also implemented high profile policy dialogues in the Parliament as part of the activities of the “Elecciones 2006” project.
[3] This support was announced during the Annual Seminar 2007, which had Nobel Prize Joseph Stiglitz as a keynote speaker.  Moreover, CIES Annual Seminar 2008 –which had Nobel Prize Finn E. Kydland as a keynote speaker- was sponsored by Scotiabank.