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Fellows of The AAS Champion use of Evidence in Decision-making

Fellows of The AAS Champion use of Evidence in Decision-making

The African Academy of Sciences (The AAS) hosts a large network of eminent, midcareer and upcoming scientists working in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) and generating evidence to drive sustainable development across the African continent.

African governments need this evidence for informed decision-making, to increase impact of policies and programmes so as to maximise use of limited resources to realise sustainable development. Credible evidence is sporadically used and at times 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. The biggest barriers have been that credible evidence is not always readily available. Most of it is generated, analyzed and shared within the science community without effective, consistent and systematic processes to move it to policy spaces in accessible formats.

Together with the African Institute for Policy Development (AFIDEP), The AAS co-hosted a three-day workshop on 22-24 May 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya, on pathways to entrenching an evidence informed decision-making culture.

The workshop, which was part of the deliverables of the Evidence Leaders in East and West Africa (ELA) programme, drew participation of seventeen AAS Fellows and six Affiliates from East and West Africa, including from Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana and Nigeria. One of the Workshop faciliators, Prof. Nelson Sewankambo, is also a Fellow of The AAS.

The AAS and AFIDEP are implementing ELA to enhance the evidence-gathering and analysis skills of researchers from regions on the African 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. The focus on East and West Africa was determined by the funder the Hewlett Foundation.

The programme prioritises empowering AAS Fellows, grantees and Affiliates to play leading roles in the institutionalisation and promotion of a culture of evidence use in their countries and has lined up multiple strategic activities, including the May workshop to enable them to promote research uptake.