Assessment of national higher education and research capacity in Panama

ccrawfo5's picture
Panama City

The Payson Center is currently involved in an innovative and much needed research project for the Government of Panama. Funded by Panama's National Secretariat for Science, Technology and Innovation (SENACYT) and led by Dr. Nanette Svenson, head of the Payson Center's Panama Field Work Experience Master's program, this project is conducting an assessment of national higher education and research capacity in the social sciences to fill the existing data gap regarding the status of social sciences in the country. Panama's National Science and Technology Plan (PENCYT) 2010-2014 highlights the need to strengthen higher education and research of social sciences, but prior to this project little had been done in that regard. This is a first effort to inventory university programs, research institutions, publications, events and qualified professionals in the different areas of the social sciences and map these against the demand for skills and knowledge in the productive sector labor market. 

Phase one of the project reviewing secondary data and creating the inventory has been completed and Dr. Svenson presented these initial findings at the National Sciences Foundation (APANAC)-SENACYT XV research congress held last week in Panama City. Phase two is about to begin and Payson is collaborating on this with the Latin American Faculty for the Social Sciences (FLACSO) on the collection of primary qualitative and quantitative data. Final reports should be published mid-2015.

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