Three Research Centers
Helpman Development Institute (HDI) RC-1667831 is an independent, non-profit private organization incorporated with a mission to strengthen the nexus between research, industry, policy & development support, and aims to become a global development institution. It operates as a think tank, focusing on public policy research, analysis and engagement. The Institute is governed by a Board of Trustees, guided by a Board of Advisors and led by a team of experts with extensive local and international experience in academia, industry and policy.
To be a global development institution
To strengthen the nexus between scientific research, industry, policy & development support
To build a multidisciplinary institute operating on international best practices and recognized for scientific research, capacity building and evidence-driven policy engagement on socioeconomic development.
Helpman was incorporated in Nigeria as “The Helpman Development Institute LTD/GTE” in March 2020 with the mission to strengthen the otherwise tenuous nexus between academia, industry, policy and development support toward improving public policy effectiveness and advancing socio economic development in the country. To achieve this mission, the institute emphasizes capacity building, evidence generation and stakeholder engagement as its core set of activities.
The institute commenced a nine-month graduate (school-to-work) internship program in June 2019 with
13 interns drawn from STEM and economics. The interns learnt concepts and frameworks; approaches
and methodologies; data collection, management and analysis tools; writing and documentation. After an
intensive training phase that lasted for 3 months, the interns broke into different clusters and were
assigned to carry out projects based on their interests. The first set of interns supported the capacitybuilding of the second set of interns; all interns received regular stipends. Most of the interns have
completed their graduate programs oversees in the United Kingdom, United States, Poland, Estonia and
elsewhere. The program alumni and their testimonials can be found here.
Interactions with the knowledge community in the country revealed a crucial gap in the skill set of economists trained in the local institutions. We noticed that apart from agricultural economics, most of the economics departments and economic research in the country are oriented towards macroeconomics, with negligible investment in microeconomics fields. This gap is glaring in the skill composition of development policy circles and institutions managing socio-economic development programs. To address this gap, the institute initiated a certificate program in public policy in 2022. This intervention is a 12-month coursework and capstone research program designed to build the capacity of graduates of universities and polytechnics to conduct theoretical (modeling) and empirical research in applied microeconomics. Drawn from STEM and economics, the 13 participants of this program will develop a strong foundation in microeconomic theory, microeconometrics and policy impact evaluation, and be introduced to applied microeconomics fields including industrial organization, labor, health, population, public and environmental economics. The program is tuition-free and participants are paid regular stipends to cover their expenses. Testimonials from participants can be found here.
The institution was recently reconfigured into an ecosystem and its activities were classified into our schools, centers and programs in order to make progress toward fulfilling its mission while sustaining the capacity to identify gaps and implement interventions. The schools are responsible for developing the competencies required for evidence generation and stakeholder engagement; the research centers are the focal points of knowledge creation to support stakeholders’ engagement and policy advocacy while simultaneously updating the knowledge to be disseminated in the schools’ curriculum; the stakeholder engagement platforms transmit evidence generated into the policy process and identify existing and emerging gaps in competencies and evidence.