Istituto di Ricerche sulla Popolazione e le Politiche Sociali

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The Italian Multi-Bi Research Project ETH/92/P01

The Italian Multi-Bi Research Project ETH/92/P01, financed by the Italian government under the patronage of UNFPA, was aimed at developing in-depth studies on seven ‘demographic’ topics, mainly using data from the 1994 Population and Housing Census of Ethiopia.

The formal agreement was signed by the parties in late 1997. Because of some bureaucratic problems research started only in summer 1999. The institutions involved in this research effort are the Ethiopian Central Statistical Authority (CSA) and the Italian Institute for Population Research of the Italian National Research Council (IRP-CNR). The direction of the project was entrusted to Mr. Amare Isaias, from the CSA, and Prof. Giuseppe Gesano, from the IRP-CNR.

Seven bilateral research groups were formed and experts from other research bodies joined those from the two main institutions, i.e. CSA and IRP-CNR. In Ethiopia, the Demographic Training and Research Center (DTRC) of the University of Addis Ababa was also involved. In Italy, several scholars from universities have taken part in the project: in particular, the Department for Demographic Studies, University of Roma “La Sapienza”, was involved in three of the seven research topics with several of its experts.

The seven research topics are the following:

The research work has been carried out between February 2000 and June 2001 through periods of collaborative research both in Italy (about three weeks of stay at the relevant research institute or universities for each of the Ethiopian experts involved) and in Ethiopia (about ten days of stay in relevant institutions in Addis Ababa for most of the Italian scholars), data preparation and elaboration, preparation of the draft research papers, finalization of the reports,…etc.

The main findings of the research papers were presented in the Dissemination Seminar organized in Addis Ababa on July 10, 2001, at the UNECA Conference Center. These final reports are the revised version of the materials presented at that seminar.

Though the project has suffered occasionally due to organizational problems, it can be recommended as a good practice both in in-depth analysis of census data in developing countries and for the effective international collaboration in research between governmental and scientific bodies. Actually, one of the main aims of the project was to produce research findings on some key-items for policy intervention related to the population. In fact, these research papers include recommendations in their section on concluding remarks. We hope that these recommendations will be considered by the policy makers in the country as well as by the international organizations.

Addis Ababa and Roma – October 2001, Amare Isaias and Giuseppe Gesano