Capacity Assessment of Higher Education and Research in the Social Sciences in the Republic of Panama

Senacyt: Research funding for the modernization of teaching, learning, innovation and popularization of science and technology in Panama

Principal Investigator 

Nanette Svenson, Ph.D., Tulane University, Payson Center for International Development

Total Execution Timeframe 

18 months

Executive Summary

This project proposes to carry out a capacity assessment of national higher education and research in the social sciences to fill the existing data gap on the status of the social sciences in Panama.  Panama’s National Strategic Plan for Science Technology and Innovation 2010-2014 (El Plan Estratégico Nacional de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación (PENCYT) 2010-2014) , in its National Program for Science, Technology and Innovation for the Development of the Social Sciences, highlights the need to strengthen higher education and research of social sciences in Panama.  However, to date, the country lacks a complete inventory of the existing social sciences-oriented college programs and research institutes.  It also lacks data on the kind of capacity required by the market in the area of the social sciences. 

This capacity assessment of the existing higher education and research offer will produce qualitative and quantitative data on the status of the social sciences in the nation and contribute to accomplishing the objectives put forth in the PENCYT 2010-2014 national plan.  The specific objectives of the assessment are 1) to understand which resources and skills are available for higher education and research in the social sciences; 2) to understand what type of knowledge and skills related to the social sciences is required in the public and private sectors of the labor market; and 3) to determine the gaps between the existing and required capacity.  This assessment would represent the first step in the national effort to develop the necessary skills in the area of social sciences. 

This project will involve Tulane University’s Payson Center for International Development as an institutional collaborator and will use a mixed methodology of qualitative and quantitative input.  It is expected that the data and knowledge generated by this project will be useful for universities and research centers active in the social sciences and for other public and private entities with budgets designated for the development of social sciences in Panama.

 

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