Exchange to Change Sept 2017 20170911 E2C zomer web | Page 5

AT I O B 5 Factual information Title of your PhD: Government Finances and Financial Shocks in Developing Economies ‘unconventional’ monetary policies adopted by the Fed and European Central Bank. These policies were implemented as response to diverse forms of financial crisis witnessed since the recent ‘Great Recession’. In addition to assessing the vulnerability of small and financially open developing economies to external financial shocks, the essay sheds light on how monetary policy conducts of world’s major central banks, especially recent ‘experimental’ policies, have ‘unintended’ consequences for developing economies. E2C: What was the worst, most difficult moment in your PhD? KM: I couldn’t really think of a time I could say was my ‘worst moment’. Nonetheless, I certainly recall some challenging times. A good example is the last year of my PhD journey, when I became a father. Combining the final, and perhaps most demanding phase of the PhD, with nightly baby feeding and diaper changing sessions was a test. As many parents would know, sometimes you don’t sleep well and then you can’t focus the next day. However, it was all worth it! E2C: To conclude, can you tell us the most important thing you have learned during your PhD? Other ongoing/future research activities: At the moment, I work as a researcher for the ‘Belgian Policy Research Group on Financing for Development’ (BeFinD). This re- search group is financed by Belgium’s main development policy bureau, Directorate-General for Development cooperation - DGD. We provide research-based policy support for the development agency. Part of my duty (together with my colleagues at University of Namur and other universities) is to conduct research on ‘value-added tax (VAT)’ reforms and ‘tax evasion’ in Belgium’s partner countries (mainly in Africa and Latin America). The objective is to improve ‘Domestic Resource Mobilization (DRM)’ in partner countries, which also follows the UN’s current ‘Financing for Development’ agenda. Preferred leisure activity: In my free time, I like travelling. I like seeing new places, enjoying different cuisines and experiencing cultures. I also greatly enjoy spending time with family and friends. Apart from that, I like playing with my little boy and teaching him some tricks. KM: I guess I don’t have a single answer to this question since I learned many different things throughout these years. Of course, I learned a lot about the very topic I was researching and the methodologies I utilized. I also improved on other competencies such as multitasking. This particularly became useful as I had to combine my PhD with a job and other research activities. E xchange to change S eptember 2017