Friday, May 28, 2010

Thinking (and doing?) in Turkey

Next week I'm off to Ankara, Turkey, to work for two and a half months at TEPAV, Turkey's leading economic policy think tank. While TEPAV is known more for their macroeconomic, governance, and foreign policy research, I'll be working with a small team to help them become more engaged in the social policy (education, health, labor, migration, gender) debates. One area of particular interest is female labor force participation, which is surprisingly low in Turkey (26.9%), even after considering their level of development and that the predominant religion is Islam.

In their words, "TEPAV intends to increase the knowledge content of policy discussions in Turkey. The goal of TEPAV research is to remove the gap between academic research and policy implementation." TEPAV seeks to grow their influence in social policy at a time when implementing authority is being decentralized to the local level. This process will hopefully create opportunities for TEPAV to work with local governments to design, monitor, redesign, evaluate, and share successful (and disastrous) policies.

I would like to thank
Nancy Germeshausen Klavans Cultural Bridge Fellowship and the Harvard Kennedy School's WAPP for making my work with TEPAV possible.

I'll have more to say when I'm there, for now, enjoy a few scenes (and future themes?) from previous trips to Turkey.