The new EU Horizon 2020 research and network project, PRODIGEES, which analyses digitalisation towards sustainable development, held its official kick-off meeting on March 30, 2020. Due to the global pandemic, the meeting was not held in Berlin, as originally planned, but as a series of online meetings to cover the different time zones of participating institutions. As project coordinator, the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) brought together representatives from Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS, Indonesia), Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV, Brazil), Instituto Mora (Mexico), Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI, Italy), Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS, India), Stellenbosch University (SU, South Africa) and the University of Hamburg (UHAM, Germany).
The kick-off meeting also served as an opportunity to bring together the Steering Committee of the consortium, comprising representatives from all partners. The committee oversees the project implementation throughout PRODIGEES’ lifetime (2020-2023). The core of the discussion revolved around the adjustment and the timeline for planned staff exchange in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, the project plan, as well as communication and dissemination measures. Despite current uncertainties, the group is optimistic for the implementation of activities planned for the latter half of 2020, and praised the completion of the first successful secondment under the PRODIGEES framework from Germany to Mexico from earlier this year.