Academy of Science, AFIDEP launch Evidence Leaders in Africa project

The African Institute for Policy Development (AFIDEP) and the African Academy for Sciences (AAS) Friday announced the launch of a two-year programme to promote the systematic use of evidence in policymaking in Africa.

The Evidence Leaders in Africa (ELA) programme will enhance the evidence-gathering and analysis skills of researchers from across the continent and empower them to take a leading role in ensuring that the innovations and evidence they produce are relevant to and used in decision making.

“Beyond this, we want scientists to become engaged with the policy-making processes within African governments and help to champion a culture where evidence use becomes the rule and not the exception,” said Dr. Eliya Zulu, Executive Director, AFIDEP.

Credible evidence is used only sporadically and often ignored in decision making and policy formulation in developing countries, yet its incorporation is a crucial success factor if these processes are to have an impact on transformational development.

According to experts, the biggest barriers to Africa’s development have been caused by the complexities of the policy-making process which tend to be driven by competing interests.

Also importantly, credible evidence is not always readily available. Most of it is generated, analysed and shared within the scientific community without effective, consistent and systematic processes to move it to policy spaces in accessible formats.

The Evidence Leaders in Africa project will implement multiple strategic activities involving AAS Fellows, grantees and Affiliates to empower them to play leading roles in the institutionalisation and promotion of a culture of evidence use in their countries.