Call for Abstracts

On behalf of Leuphana University and the GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, we are pleased to share the conference formats, the tentative conference program and the call for proposals for the conference “Africa and Europe Moving Forward – Evidence-based Solutions for African Development” with you. For more information, please visit (Submission Deadline, Wednesday, October 15, 2018, 5:00 p.m. CET)

In recent years, the African-European collaboration has been eventful. African and European experts from various disciplines and platforms increasingly deal with strategies to foster the development of the African continent. In addition to collaborations in several large-scale projects (such as the Engineering Capacity Building Program and the Pan-African University Project), the G20 Africa Partnership and the “Africa Year 2017” represented another step toward an even closer African-European collaboration. There is great interest and necessity to develop effective solutions to reach a new quality of collaboration between Europe and Africa.

Against this background, the Leuphana University of Lueneburg and the GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies jointly hold the conference ”Africa and Europe Moving Forward - Evidence-based Solutions for African Development”. The conference will be the inaugural conference of a series of biennial conferences. The focus of the inaugural conference is on Economy and Employment. The aim of the conference series is to establish a platform that applies evidence-based approaches. Evidence-based approaches are scientifically derived and empirically grounded interventions that offer a reliable foundation for effective development strategies, policies, and programs. Furthermore, evidence-based approaches can be combined with existing approaches, such as results-based approaches, to contribute to more efficient development cooperation. Evidence-based approaches can make a significant contribution to a better African-European collaboration. In this regard, the conference addresses two points. 1. Even though evidence-based approaches, especially “rigorous impact evaluations“, and the focus on measurable results have gained importance in the development cooperation, an insufficient exchange between science and practice persists (the “knowing-doing gap”). 2. While projects and programs are increasingly monitored scientifically, evidence-based approaches only play a minor role in important political and social fields. Specifically, the conference series seeks to provide answers to the following questions: 

1. Which evidence-based approaches are applied and which conclusions can be drawn concerning the respective topics? How can piloted and evaluated measures be transferred and established in a sustainable manner?

2. Where do “knowing-doing gaps” exist and how can they be closed? Which relevant topics and interventions have not (yet) been approached with evidence-based measures? What are strategically relevant questions for the development of Africa? Which new approaches are necessary and conceivable? Which potentially useful scientific findings have not yet been applied in practice?

3. How can scientific approaches and methods be improved? In particular, how can a more effective match between economic, institutional and psychological approaches be achieved in order to pay more attention to the interplay between the context and the individual?

Question 1 aims to evaluate the current level of knowledge concerning evidence-based solutions (see for example the study on training interventions in Togo by Campos, Frese, et al., 2017, Science) and to exchange views about these solutions. Additionally, possible ways to transfer effective measures to other target groups or contexts will be discussed and developed. The possibility to generalize measures should be evaluated in this regard. At the same time, possible context-specific factors that could restrict transfer should be reflected and solutions to include those factors should be generated. The aim is to sustainably transfer effective measures to additional areas of application and to simultaneously consider the specific context and the evidence the measure is based on. In doing so, it is important to consider the structural and institutional factors that could complicate or even prevent the transfer of knowledge between science and practice as well as within practice.

Question 2 aims to better link scientific findings with practical approaches. Relevant questions about African development and the African-European collaboration, which are in need of evidence-based solutions, will be debated. The discussion of relevant questions should be conducted particularly with regard to the strategic orientation of evaluation studies. Strategic orientation in this context means an analysis to what extent the evaluation studies can provide specific insights that can further the theoretical understanding of the effectiveness of the different measures. Furthermore, currently unused scientific findings gained from effective methods such as randomized control trials, meta-analyses, and qualitative case studies will be discussed and made applicable. Also important for the link between science and practice is the measurability and modeling of the measures’ effects on society, economy and politics. An example is the question how success factors can be detected in order to make effects observable and measurable. This would help to quantify the scientific and social consequences of previously made investments and would thereby provide a better basis for future investment decisions.

Question 3 concerns the interdisciplinary exchange about different approaches to support African development and to foster the African-European collaboration. Economic, institutional (including political) and psychological approaches interact and provide each other with a context that influences the effectiveness of the measures. The conference should provide a platform for interdisciplinary exchange and thereby reflect the different measures from different disciplinary viewpoints. This exchange also refers to Question 1 as it enables a better determination of the contextual effectiveness of measures in the future. 

Conference Formats

Experts in the field of our conference theme “Economy, Employment, and Entrepreneurship” will hold keynote speeches. They will establish the main underlying theme of the conference, give a direction and inspire participants to view the conference theme from different perspectives.

The poster session is a platform for conference participants, who want to present their papers and projects. For each poster, we will ask designated expert discussants to provide in-depth comments on the participants' papers and projects.

During the panels, a group of experts will discuss a conference-related topic to bring new insights to the subject. A moderator will ask topic-related questions, guide the discussion, summarize the statements made, and initiate a subsequent discussion with the audience.

Thematic sessions consist of accepted papers and reports from researchers and practitioners grouped together by the conference organization committee. Alternatively, thematic sessions are contributed sessions, which are organized by one or more institutions on a common topic. Each session consists of the presentation of three to five papers that have been submitted prior to the conference. Each thematic session has one session chair who will introduce the session and provide a short overarching discussion on all papers at the end of the session.

The organized workshop is a hands-on workshop that delivers practical knowledge about conference-related topics. The workshop will be organized by the conference organization committee. All participants can participate in the workshop. They will listen to short presentations on relevant topics and work on related exercises. The organized workshop thereby encourages discussions between participants from different disciplines and offers high level learning experience to a broad public. 

Conference Goals

The conference series treats different topics concerning the development of the African continent and the African-European collaboration. It serves as exchange platform for African and European experts from science, economics, politics and practice working on the different thematic areas. Four overarching areas, which are useful to cluster the foci of African development, have emerged from existing programs and action plans. These areas comprise: “Economy” (including job creation, innovation, and investments), “People’s needs” (needs of the population in the areas of education, health, gender equality, and peace), “Governance” (governance, democracy, participation, innovative forms of “inclusive governance”), and “Partnerships” (international development cooperation, multilateral agreements and also between the private and public sector, e.g., between universities and commercial partners).

The topic of the first conference in 2019 will be “Economy” with a specific focus on the subject of employment and labor markets. Every two years we will conduct additional conferences with other central topics. During the conferences we will approach the respective topic from an evidence-based perspective answering the three types of questions mentioned above. Hence, the structure of the conference series is designed in a way that each conference has a thematic focus that will be treated with the help of evidence-based methods. 

For more information, please visit or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can register in the conference here: see the tentative conference program below:




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