Policy dialogues: A space for engagement

Policy dialogues_A space for engagementI participated in the first of a series of policy dialogues organised by Zeipnet in Zimbabwe. The aim of these is to bring different sectors of society together to discuss certain policy issues. In this first one, the uncoordinated policies of industry and trade were discussed. These policies were formulated in 2012 and the set targets should be achieved by 2016. They are part of the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim Asset).

There were more than 50 people at the event and I was surprised to see so many members of the government, and more than 50% of the participants were civil servants. Among them, the director of research of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, the director of Insurance and Pensions from the Ministry of Finance, the director of the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, the principal director for programmes at the Parliament, the director of the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and the Director of the Ministry of Agriculture, among  others. Unfortunately the presence of the private sector was low, only three people attended plus a few academics and journalists. Continue reading “Policy dialogues: A space for engagement” »

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Promoting Policy Dialogue in Harare

Promoting policy dialogue in HarareOn Monday 7th July 2014, the Zimbabwe Evidence Informed Policy Network (ZeipNET) hosted the first in a series of Policy Dialogue events. The aim of these Policy Dialogues is to open discussions around key national policy issues, bringing government together with relevant members of the society such as the private sector, journalists, researchers, social leaders, etc. This series will help to bridge the research-policy divide and engage relevant stakeholders in the policy-making process.

ZeipNET is part of VakaYiko; a consortium of five organisations involved in building the
capacity of policy-makers to recognise, articulate and act on research to shape better policy.

The first Policy Dialogue was held in Harare, Zimbabwe and focused on improving trade and industrial policy coordination and dialogue between the government and private sector. Director General of the Standards Association of Zimbabwe, Eve .C Gadzikwa, attended and chaired the Policy Dialogue. We asked her a few questions about how she found this first event: Continue reading “Promoting Policy Dialogue in Harare” »

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Enthusiasm, timing and local ownership shape our new initiatives in Sierra Leone

Having recently returned from my second visit to Sierra Leone, I have been reflecting on the last year of our collaboration project with Reseach4Life.

The project aims to advance research in Sierra Leone through supporting and developing the capacity to use and produce research literature. While INASP is actively working to support colleagues in Sierra Leone, they are helping us to understand more about the conditions necessary to advance research both in Sierra Leone and elsewhere.

Initial visit

In September 2013 we made a scoping visit to Sierra Leone to meet with as many people connected with the higher education and research sector as possible, learning about their successes, challenges and aspirations.

It struck us how many people were determined to make a success of re-building the country after the war. We recognised the familiar challenges we meet in many of the countries in which we work: inadequate electricity and telecommunications infrastructures, and lack of library budgets, which are magnified in Sierra Leone. However the overwhelming commitment of individuals in the university system to address these challenges and increase research output makes it a suitable time for us to begin working there. Continue reading “Enthusiasm, timing and local ownership shape our new initiatives in Sierra Leone” »

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The politics of evidence in policy making

Anne Lan Kagahastian-Candelaria, Ph.D. introduces her research Evidence for What? Exploring the definition & political value of evidence-informed policy making according to Philippine Mayors. This study tries to bridge the understanding and importance of EIPM between those who produce research and those who consume it for policy purposes; and to evaluate the political value of EIPM in local policy making within the context of local government in Philippines. This study was funded through an INASP small grant in 2012.

I was first introduced to the concept of evidence-informed policy making (EIPM) in 2012 during an INASP-led capacity building workshop that targeted policy advocates and practitioners in Asia. I recalled how the different participants would debate about what constitutes a ‘policy’ and, more importantly, what is meant by ‘evidence’.

In informal conversations I have with politicians in the Philippines, they use word ‘policy’ to refer to different things. And because they see themselves in the context of power, they also believe that they should not be always at the mercy of ‘evidence’. Having worked with them for close to fifteen years now, I find this observation not as a threat but an opportunity to introduce to them the idea of evidence-informed policymaking, which is more pragmatic and flexible to the needs and context of policymakers. Continue reading “The politics of evidence in policy making” »

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Tackling systems and complexity in a research capacity programme: Part 3

Alex Ademokun 2014 2Jonanthan Harle_INASP
This is a joint post written by:
Alex Ademokun (@AAlex_A), Senior Programme Manager, Evidence-Informed Policy Making Jonathan Harle (@jonharle), Senior Programme Manager, Research Access and Availability

In our last two posts, we discussed how INASP’s thinking on capacity building has been influenced by some recent debates on systems and complexity (and also by many years of experience) and how we go about understanding the national research systems in which we work. In the intervening weeks we’ve had some really valuable comments, and had the opportunity to reflect further as our programmes continue to unfold. As we’ve said before, we see ourselves as a ‘doing’ organisation, and want to try and ground this discussion in specific, practical experience as far as we can. So here we want to offer some examples of these approaches in three of the countries we’re working in – Nepal, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe. Continue reading “Tackling systems and complexity in a research capacity programme: Part 3” »

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Equipping trainers to deliver learner–centred training

Agnes Namaganda Kanzira is an Academic Librarian, Information Literacy Instructor, and Head of Africana/Special Collections at Makerere University Library, Uganda. Agnes has taken part in a number of pedagogy skills workshops, initially as an observer and now as a facilitator, alongside mentoring others.

Over the past few months, I have participated in the pedagogy skills workshops organised by INASP in partnership with library consortia in some African Universities. I have participated in various capacities such as: Observer, Co-facilitator and Facilitator. The aim of the workshop is to equip trainers (Librarians and Lecturers) with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to deliver learner-centred training. Continue reading “Equipping trainers to deliver learner–centred training” »

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