It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Stephan Klasen who was one of our founding and advisory board members. Stephan Klasen was a Professor of Development Economics at the University of Goettingen. Shortly after joining the University of Goettingen in 2003, he observed that there were limited opportunities for exchange among experts working on development research and policy in Germany. This observation led to the initial discussions that resulted in the formation of PEGNet, which was officially launched in 2006 with an inception workshop in Kiel.
Stephan Klasen was dedicated to PEGNet and frequently shared his expertise on panel discussions at the PEGNet annual conferences and other events organized by PEGNet. At the PEGNet 2014 Conference in Lusaka, he spoke about the role that employment creation can play in fostering structural change. The following year, he discussed how inequality hinders economic transformation at the PEGNet conference in Berlin. Even as his illness progressed, he remained devoted to PEGNet; he authored a policy brief on rising inequality in developing countries in 2016 and gave a talk on the same topic at the PEGNet 2017 Conference in Zurich. He was selfless and tireless in his efforts to promote PEGNet, a fact that was also demonstrated by the high number of colleagues and PhD students from the University of Goettingen that participated in the annual PEGNet conferences.
His vision of how research and policy making should be interconnected was not only limited to PEGNet, this was an idea that he actively practiced throughout his own career. He was an excellent researcher who made significant contributions to the studies of gender, poverty and inequality in the Global South. He used this research expertise to inform practitioners and policy makers in various institutions and organizations such as GIZ, KfW, the World Bank and IPCC.
We will forever be grateful for his extraordinary contribution to PEGNet and are honored that we had the opportunity to know him in both a professional and personal capacity. He will be greatly missed in PEGNet and has left a void that cannot easily be filled.