Category Archives: EIPM

Ten Videos on Evidence and Policy
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Here are a few of our favourite videos featuring researchers, policymakers and practitioners all over the world discussing key issues in evidence-informed policy: what it is, what the challenges are, and how to address them. Got more to share? Please tell us in the comments! 1 What is EIPM? Here Louise Shaxson of the Overseas Development Institute’s Research and Policy in Development programme draws on her experience with the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to explain the concept of evidence-informed policy making, highlighting the role of processes within public institutions: “you can have the best evidence in the world but if you put it through poor processes you won’t get good evidence informed policy making”. At INASP we see these processes as a complex set of structures, relationships and behaviours within public institutions that shape how evidence is gathered, synthesised, appraised and communicated to inform policy. 2) Getting … Continue reading

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5 ways of adapting the Evidence-Informed Policy Making Toolkit training for your participants – Experiences from GIMPA
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Dr. Patrick Tandoh, lead facilitator from GIMPA

Image: Dr. Patrick Tandoh, lead facilitator from GIMPA Back in January, the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) held a three day pilot of the EIPM Toolkit under their School of Public Service and Governance (SPSG), with support from Ghana Information Network for Knowledge Sharing (GINKS). The Toolkit is an adaptable suite of resources to support capacity building of civil servants and parliamentary staff in gathering, appraising and communicating evidence to inform policy making. So far, it’s been used in Ghana, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Sudan. Having observed the training, Faaria Hussain (INASP’s Programme Officer for the Evidence-Informed Policy Making team) lists five ways GIMPA adapted the Toolkit to ensure learning was maximized for their participants. Feedback from both participants and facilitators: Dr. Kingsley Agomor and Dr. Patrick Tandoh, show that the training was successful, covering relevant content and as a result, GIMPA are considering rolling out the Toolkit … Continue reading

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Evidence Spotlight: Overcoming challenges to using evidence in the Parliament of Malawi
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Photo: Parliament of Malawi ——————————————————————————————————————————- In this Evidence Spotlight INASP’s Emily Hayter interviews Kondwani Chikafa (image, right), Senior Research Officer in the Research Section of the Parliament of Malawi. Parliament of Malawi’s Research Section is comprised of three staff. Its key function is to support decision making in parliament through research and analysis for MPs, who are its main clients. How is research information currently used in the Parliament of Malawi? Research information is used in three ways: In the Plenary: Members of Parliament (MPs) request information on issues that are on the floor of the House. This information is requested by Backbench MPs in the National Assembly and given to them before the House opens. In the Parliamentary Committees: Prior to Committee Meetings, the Research Section can be asked to prepare briefing papers on specific issues on the agenda to help members make informed decisions. Delegations: The Parliament of … Continue reading

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Promoting the use of evidence in parliaments
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Photo: Participants in the Parliament Learning Exchange (Left to right) - Mohammed Hardi Nyagsi, Parliament of Ghana; John Mugabi Bagonza, Parliament of Uganda, Christina Mafoko, Director of Research, Parliament of Zimbabwe; Abrahan Ibn Zackaria, Parliament of Ghana.

Photo: Participants in the Parliament Learning Exchange (Left to right) – Mohammed Hardi Nyagsi, Parliament of Ghana; John Mugabi Bagonza, Parliament of Uganda, Christina Mafoko, Director of Research, Parliament of Zimbabwe; Abrahan Ibn Zackaria, Parliament of Ghana. ——————————————————————————————————— – Blog by Agnes A.S. Titriku, Program Manager, African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA), Ghana Staff members from three parliaments (Ghana, Uganda and Zimbabwe) are participating in a Learning Exchange programme coordinated by the African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA), as part of the VakaYiko project. The aim is to strengthen the role of parliamentary information support units in evidence uptake by providing a space for peer exchange and support—both ‘learning together’ and ‘learning from each other’. What do the parliaments’ information support systems look like? “Mapping out linkages and collaboration among information departments has provided insight on how to strengthen weak links for instance through learning from other parliaments”. – Research … Continue reading

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Evidence Reading: How do governments get great?
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Botswana Parliament Building

House of the Parliament of Botswana in Gaborone. The paper discussed in this evidence reading cited Botswana as an example of a government that led an impressive transformation resulting in its ranking of Sub-Saharan Africa’s least corrupt nation in the global Corruption Perceptions Index 2016 by Transparency International. —————————————————————————————————– – Blog post by Clara Richards, Director of the VakaYiko Consortium and Senior Programme Manager at INASP’s Evidence-Informed Policy Making Team I started reading more about how governments can improve their work and drive positive change because I wanted to know how we at INASP can work with governments to improve their policies by putting research and evidence at the heart of their development agenda. I discovered an endless and exciting literature. However, it is mainly driven by the same authors who are part of the ‘Building State Capability Programme’ , and although they have great insight, it would be good … Continue reading

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Using evidence to mainstream gender in policy making
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Gender Centre for Research and Training running a workshop in training to policymakers on mainstreaming gender in development policies and practices.


– Blog post by Amira Osman, Co-founder of the Gender Centre for Research and Training, Sudan

Gendered evidence is important for policy making because it gives policy makers and development planners a clear picture on the gender needs of the population they are targeting. In recent years, this need has received greater attention. However, there are still numerous barriers and challenges to mainstreaming gender in programmes and policies.

To discuss this, a breakout session was held at the VakaYiko symposium in Accra on 5 October 2016. Policy makers, researchers and civil society organisations from countries in Africa, Latin America and Europe joined the discussion. Also present, was a Regional Director from the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection in Ghana, who shared a practical perspective on challenges and opportunities to mainstreaming gender evidence within government policy. Here are five key things to come out of the discussion:

1. Gender is a socially constructed issue

What we understand by ‘gender’ varies from culture to culture and changes over time. Furthermore, the concept of gender is sometimes seen as a western concept. Therefore the concept needs to be deconstructed and understood in relation to ethnicity, culture, geography, age, disability, religion and social status, making it more relevant to the experiences of people in the local context This is a key to developing a policy that is informed by relevant gender data and gender analysis.

2. Gender is often not seen as a priority

Policy makers at the top of hierarchical decision-making structures – often men – don’t see collecting and using gendered evidence as a priority. As such, adding a gender perspective to their activities challenges the status quo, including their power.

3. Policy making bodies often lack necessary resources, time and skills

Scarce or stretched resources is a major barrier. Even within departments with a specific gender remit – such as Ghana’s Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection – inadequate financial resources to collect gender disaggregated data was raised as a major challenge. The lack of communication between data producers (researchers) and users (policy makers) can further hinder this.

4. Quantitative and qualitative data collection methods are needed

There is often a reliance on quantitative data methods, which tend to favour statistics without paying attention to women’s and men’s different roles in society. For example, quantitative data may tell us about the number of women in a parliament but adding qualitative data will inform us about women’s and men’s experiences/perspectives within such an important decision making body.

Qualitative methods such as focus groups and in-depth interviews allow participants, in particular women, to engage in fruitful discussions and to raise issues of concern such as their experiences with domestic violence, which women may not feel comfortable mentioning in a survey conducted by a male interviewer. In this sense, the sex of the interviewers is relevant particularly in contexts where sex segregation is common, i.e. female interviewers are needed for female interviewees and male interviewers are needed for male interviewees.

5. Capacity building on gender disaggregated data and data analysis is a practical step

Capacity building for different stakeholders, such as community leaders, grassroots organisations, civil servants, researchers and policy makers, is needed. Capacity building for stakeholders on gender disaggregated data and gender analysis is a practical step to equip them with relevant skills to mainstream gender in policies and programmes.

To tackle the above key points/challenges, the Gender Centre for Research and Training in Sudan (GCRT), using the VakaYiko grant managed to provide capacity building sessions to mid and high level policy makers from two ministries in Sudan on gender and gender analysis to inform policy. The sessions acted as platforms for dialogue which helped policy makers to raise questions, analyse information and develop plans and policies that address the needs of women, men, boys and girls and to facilitate gender mainstreaming in all programmes.

To tackle the above challenges participants suggested the following:
• Reaching women, girls, boys and men in remote areas and incorporating their perspectives and needs in any gender and capacity building projects targeting them.
• Promote dialogues between policy makers and researchers to enable better collection of sex-disaggregated and qualitative data.
• Develop and sustain a gender perspective and gender analysis in all decision making processes.
• Allocate resources for all of the above suggested activities.

Read an interview with Thywill Eyra Kpe, Regional Director for the Department of Gender (Central Region) in Ghana, on how gender evidence is used to inform regional policy in Ghana.
http://blog.inasp.info/spotlight-evidence-gender-policy-regional-level-ghana/

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