Apr 3rd, 2020: Elise Wang Sonne

Promoting Research Transparency and Reproducibility Through Capacity-Building Trainings Across Sub Saharan Africa and Europe: Lessons Learned and Way Forward

Moderated by: Simon Halliday
Assistant Professor of Economics at Smith College


Norms and ethos of research transparency, reproducibility and openness have recently gained prominence in social sciences, emerging as key standards of research quality. However, the knowledge and uptake of those practices remain uneven across different geographical areas of the world, mainly attributable to already low level of contribution of some regions to the global research publication landscape. For instance, Sub Saharan Africa representing almost 12% of the world’s population only contribute to less than 1% of research outputs. On the other hand, one way to significantly boost the level of knowledge and adoption of transparency methods is through trainings and capacity building efforts. For the past 4 years, thanks to the generous support of the Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social sciences (BITSS) and the Open Science Framework (OSF), we managed to organize numerous Research Transparency and Reproducibility Trainings (RT2) with a specific focus on Sub Saharan and Europe, reaching almost a thousand of researchers. However, the extent to which such capacity building efforts have kept the promise by shifting the common practices of researchers towards openness is yet to be understood. In this paper, we intend to present the impacts and lessons learned from our training efforts to better advise BITSS or TIER on what works to foster research transparency and openness to move the reproducibility agenda in empirical economics research forward.

Speaker Bio

Soazic Elise WANG SONNE is a statistician and economist researcher (PhD fellow) at the United Nations University (UNU-MERIT) and an Economist (Young Professional) at the social development unit of the World Bank Group in Washington DC. Since early 2015, Soazic has been spearheading the research transparency movement across Sub Saharan Africa (Cameroon, Niger, South Africa, Kenya), Europe (Netherlands, UK) and the United States. To date, Soazic has managed to train nearly 1000 researchers on research transparency and reproducibility techniques.

Her strong advocacy for openness in Social Sciences research and her work as a catalyst for the Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS) and a COS (Center for Open Science) ambassador has been rewarded by the 2017 UC Berkeley Leamer-Rosenthal research transparency Prize in the category of Emerging Researcher.

Find more on Soazic’s work on her website: