The African Evidence Informed Policy Forum brought together think tank representatives, including young researchers, as well as civil society actors, donors, policymakers, academics, and members of the private sector in order to:

  • Understand how evidence to policy landscapes in Africa are evolving;
  • Share lessons and experiences from evidence informed policy-making processes in Africa;
  • Understand how to foster an evidence informed policymaking culture in Africa;
  • Identify key trends, opportunities and challenges – especially around collaboration between different stakeholders – on these issues;
  • Explore future approaches to supporting evidence informed policy processes.

Please find the conference program below. Alternatively, you can download the agenda as pdf document.

  • Tue 6 Mar 2018
    Conference - Day One
    08:00 - 08:30
    Arrival and registration
    Coffee/tea and light refreshments will be served.
    Diakalia Sanogo, International Development Research Centre (IDRC)Peter Taylor, International Development Research Centre (IDRC)Lamia Naji, Mastercard FoundationNick Perkins, SciDev.Net
    08:30 - 09:00
    Welcome and introductions
    This introductory session will set the stage for the African Evidence Informed Policy Forum with welcoming remarks followed by a brief background on the context and the overarching goals and objectives for the forum.

    Lead Facilitator: Nick Perkins


    • Diakalia Sanogo, Senior Program Specialist, Regional Office for sub-Saharan Africa, International Development Research Centre (IDRC)
    • Lamia Naji, Associate Manager, Learning & Strategy, Mastercard Foundation
    • Peter Taylor, Acting Director, Inclusive Economies, International Development Research Centre (IDRC)
    Ian Goldman, Government of South Africa
    09:00 - 09:30
    Session 1 - Keynote Address: The politics of knowledge in Africa and the role of research and evidence in policy-making

    Ian Goldman, Acting Deputy Director General, Evidence and Knowledge Systems, Department of Planning, Monitoring & Evaluation, Government of South Africa

    Tausi Mbaga Kida, Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF)Makali Mulu, Government of KenyaSarah T. Lucas, William and Flora Hewlett FoundationSiziwe Ngcwabe, Africa Evidence Network (AEN)Uduak Amimo, Citizen TV
    9:30 - 11:00
    Session 2 - The evolving context for use of evidence in policy-making in Africa
    Objective: Develop a shared understanding of the evidence informed landscape in Africa
    Moderator: Uduak Amimo, talk-show host of Cheche, on Citizen TV
    Format: Chat show
    • Rasheed Draman, African Center for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA), Ghana
    • Siziwe Ngcwabe, Africa Evidence Network (AEN), Africa Centre for Evidence (ACE), South Africa
    • Hon. Dr. Makali Mulu, Member of Parliament and Chair of the Evidence Informed Policy Caucus, Kenya
    • Sarah Lucas, Global Development and Population, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, USA
    • Tausi Kida,Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF), Tanzania

    This session will include an engaging “chat-show” discussion with representatives from government agencies, policy research institutions, universities, funders and media from across the continent, in response to the following key questions:
    • What do you understand by “evidence informed policy” and what are the features of an “evidence-informed policy landscape”?
    • What are the contextual factors in Africa that affect knowledge informed policy landscapes?
    • What practices of evidence sourcing and use are currently found in Africa and what are the associated challenges?
    11:00 - 11:30
    Health break
    Edward Brown, African Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET)Felix Asante, Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER)Lillian M.Tamale, Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE)
    11:30 - 13:00
    Session 3A - Lessons from Evidence Producers: How generators of evidence contribute to positive change in Africa
    Objective: Surface good practices and identify challenges that help shape evidence informed policy landscapes.

    Moderator: Nick Perkins
    Format: Five Break-Out Sessions

    This session will involve break-out sessions that include presentations by evidence producers. These will showcase their engagement in evidence-informed decision making (EIPM) processes with various stakeholders. During the presentations and follow-up plenary discussions, participants will seek to document best practices of EIPM by identifying what works, where, for whom, how and at what cost.

    Specific questions to guide the group discussions may include:
    • What have evidence producers learned about how best to respond to opportunities and challenges through their engagement with different stakeholders?
    • What are the most effective channels and strategies evidence producers have used for informing policy formulation and implementation?
    • How do producers of evidence collaborate with each other and with knowledge intermediaries to influence policy and practice?
    Lillian M.Tamale, Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE)
    11:30 - 13:00
    Session 3A - Break-Out Session 1
    Presentation: Lillian M. Tamale, Research Fellow, Project Manager – Local Government Councils Scorecard Initiatives (LGCSCI), Advocates Coalition for Development & Environment (ACODE), Uganda
    Evidence-informed empowerment of Local Governments and citizens for effective decision making and tracking of public service delivery and accountability: Experience of ACODE’s Scorecard program of building the capacity of politicians, Local Government officials and citizens as well as community-based researcher
    11:30 - 13:00
    Session 3A - Break-Out Session 2
    Presentation: Ibrahima Hathie, Initiative Prospective Agricole et Rurale (IPAR), Senegal
    Evidence-informed public policy decision-making in the agricultural sector: Understanding the role of the youths in transforming West African Agriculture
    Felix Asante, Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER)
    11:30 - 13:00
    Session 3A - Break-Out Session 3
    Presentation: Felix Asante, Institute of Statistical, Social & Economic Research (ISSER), Ghana
    Governments’ use of evidence in promoting effective and efficient climate public finance delivery: The experience of Ghana.
    Edward Brown, African Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET)
    11:30 - 13:00
    Session 3A - Break-Out Session 4
    Presentation: Edward Brown, African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET), Ghana
    Youths’ and women’s financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa: Challenges and opportunities
    13:00 - 14:00
    Nick Perkins, SciDev.Net
    14:00 - 14:30
    Session 3B - Lessons from Evidence Producers: How generators of evidence contribute to positive change in Africa
    Objective: Synthesize lessons from break-out sessions and explore emerging ideas for strengthening strategic partnerships to generate, share, and use high quality evidence to support informed decision making on sustainable development issues and policy.

    Moderator: Nick Perkins

    Focus summary on:
    • What was most interesting?
    • What were the good practices and challenges identified?
    Abou Kane, University Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar (UCAD)Laurenz Langer, Africa Centre for Evidence (ACE)Rose Oronje, African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP)Emily Hayter, International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP)Uduak Amimo, Citizen TV
    14:30 - 16:00
    Session 4 - Experiences of building strategic partnerships to promote evidence informed policy making in the African context
    Objective: Explore how collaboration has contributed to strengthening evidence informed policy and discuss the factors that made these partnerships successful.

    Moderator: Uduak Amimo
    Format: "Show and tell" session

    Speakers: Mix of donors, policy makers, think tanks and universities

    1. Josephine Watera, Principal Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Parliament of Uganda
    2. Rose N. Oronje, Science Communications and Evidence Uptake, African Institute for Policy Development (AFIDEP), Kenya
    3. Emily Hayter, Evidence Informed Policy Making, INASP, UK
    4. Abou Kane, Department of Economics at Université Cheikh Anta Diop and the Ministry of Economics, Finance and Planning, Senegal
    5. Laurenz Langer, Africa Centre for Evidence (ACE), University Johannesburg , South Africa
    Guiding questions:
    • What examples exist of productive partnerships between funders, policy research institutions, academic institutions, government agencies, CSOs and the private sector?
    • What are the comparative advantages that each actor offers in terms of seeking to achieve change through evidence-informed policy?
    • What collaborative practices have been most effective and what practices have proved most challenging?
    16:00 - 16:15
    Health Break
    Peter Taylor, International Development Research Centre (IDRC)Nick Perkins, SciDev.Net
    16:15 - 17:15
    Session 5 - Exploring current trends, opportunities and challenges that global, regional and national development agendas present for strengthening evidence informed policy
    Objective: Take stock of what key practices, opportunities and challenges have surfaced throughout Day 1 and identify “hot topics” for deeper examination on Day 2

    Moderator: Peter Taylor / Nick Perkins
    Format: Fishbowl group discussion

    This “fishbowl” session will build on the previous sessions’ focus on sharing lessons and experiences from evidence-informed policy making processes in Africa, including efforts to track, generate data, and provide feedback on policy implementation. It will provide a participatory space for taking stock of what key practices, opportunities and challenges have surfaced throughout Day 1 and to identify “hot topics” for deeper examination on Day 2 of the Forum. The following key question will help to drive the discussions:
    • What are the key trends, opportunities and challenges that global, regional and national development agendas (including the SDGs) present for influencing the use of evidence informed policy formulation and implementation?
    • Amanda Chukwudozie, Youth Division, Human Resources, Science & Technology Department | African Union Commission, Ethiopia
    • Thomas Munthali, African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), Zimbabwe
    • Jane Kabubo-Mariara, Partnership for Economic Policy (PEP), Kenya
    • Damien Lankoande, Groupe de Recherche et d’Analyse Appliquées pour le Développement (GRAAD), Burkina Faso
    Nick Perkins, SciDev.Net
    17:15 - 17:30
    Wrap-up for the day
    Facilitator: Nick Perkins
    18:30 - 20:30
    Evening Social
    TTI will host an evening social at Mt. Elgon terrace at the Radisson Blu Hotel. Hors d’oeuvres and light refreshments will be served, and a cash bar will be available.
  • Wed 7 Mar 2018
    Conference - Day Two
    Nick Perkins, SciDev.Net
    08:45 - 09:00
    Coffee/tea and light breakfast will be served.

    Facilitator: Nick Perkins
    Blandina Kilama, REPOAEliya Zulu, African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP)Mark Johnston, Africa Cabinet Government Network (ACGN)Rhona Mijumbi, Makerere UniversityMaurice Makoloo, Ford FoundationUduak Amimo, Citizen TV
    09:30 - 10:30
    Session 6 - How to incentivize actors in the Evidence Informed Policy ecosystem to better work together to achieve impact
    Objective: Identify the incentives that support collaboration to generate, share and use evidence to inform policy and practice

    Moderator: Uduak Amimo
    Format: Chat show
    1. Mark Johnson, Africa Cabinet Government Network
    2. Eliya Zulu, African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP), Kenya
    3. Rhona Mijumbi, Makerere University’s Africa Centre for Systematic Reviews and Knowledge Translation, Uganda
    4. Maurice Makoloo, Ford Foundation, Kenya
    5. Blandina Kilama, REPOA, Tanzania
    Through an engaging, interactive “chat show” approach this session will provide the opportunity to hear from representatives of programs which have explicitly sought to promote evidence-informed policy making in different African national contexts through collaboration and from those that have participated in these programs. It will help draw out some frank, grounded lessons of what has worked in practice, what incentives have worked and how measurement can create incentives to learn. It will also draw out examples of what has worked less well. The session will explore both incentives that contribute to evidence informed policies and incentives that contribute to transforming the policy landscape to enable evidence informed policy making to become more sustainable.

    Participants will be encouraged to inquire into these experiences as a source of reflection for future action.

    Guiding questions include:
    • What are the current incentives to build relationships, trust, and collaboration among those that generate, share and use evidence? How can these incentives be capitalised upon, and disincentives overcome?
    • To what extent is impact measurement both an incentive and disincentive to collaboration?
    • Do we have the right balance of incentives to foster both accountability and learning?
    10:30 - 10:45
    Health break
    Nick Perkins, SciDev.Net
    10:45 - 12:30
    Session 7A - Diving deeper: Discussions around key issues
    Objective: Begin to build a narrative on the elements, guiding principles and practical ways forward for future collaboration amongst government agencies, academia, policy research organizations, the private sector and funders to strengthen landscapes for evidence-informed policymaking in Africa.

    Moderator: Nick Perkins
    Format: 7-8 Table discussions

    This session will review the "hot topics" for deeper examination that had been identified on Day 1, as well as drawing on lessons and insights from the earlier Day 2 session. It will use an adapted "open space" format to allow participants to engage in group discussions around the "hot topics".
    12:30 - 13:30
    Nick Perkins, SciDev.Net
    13:30 - 14:30
    Session 7B - Diving deeper: Discussions around key issues
    Moderator: Nick Perkins
    Format: Plenary reporting back from table discussions

    Discussions may be guided by the following questions:
    • What have we heard which works and that we would like to do more of?
    • What should we do differently, if we are to make real inroads in evidence-informed policy making?
    14:30 - 14:45
    Network Break
    Nick Perkins, SciDev.Net
    14:45 - 16:00
    Session 8 - What next? Reflections, insights, and follow-up actions
    Moderator: Nick Perkins
    Format: Panel and plenary discussions
    Speakers: Speakers will be identified after Day 1 based on their contributions to ensure we are capturing key insights that emerge from the 2-days.

    A number of participants will be invited to share their reflections and key insights from the two days of discussions, as well as offer suggestions for some follow-up actions. These interventions will be followed by a plenary discussion in which key elements of a follow-on agenda will be identified.
    Nick Perkins, SciDev.Net
    16:00 - 16:15
    Wrap-up and closing