Uptake of evidence based research and evaluation by policy makers

  • 26th May 2017
  • by secretary
24-25 May 2017. Nairobi. The East Africa Evidence to Action Conference on Agricultural Development and Food Security with over 200 delegates in attendance Called to Action to African Governments.

The event, whose theme was “Evidence to Action: Towards an Evidence Based and Data- Informed Policy, Action and Practice in Africa”, discussed challenges and opportunities in the uptake of evidence based research and evaluation by policy makers.

The conference provided delegates with an opportunity to share information about projects, reviewed cutting edge research and evaluation projects and identify a range policy gaps that can be resolved using research and evaluation. Delegates noted that though Africa has seen a significant increase in the generation of research data and evaluation, uptake of recommendations from these studies by Government was still very low.

“Many of the challenges faced in the African continent today can be resolved by implementing the findings coming out of existing research and evaluation reports. Sadly most government chose to ignore this valuable data and knowledge,” ICED President, David Ameyaw.

“African governments should pay special attention to agriculture now that it has emerged as a major contributor to the Gross Domestic Product growth of many African countries. Policy in agriculture therefore requires that governments consider the whole food value chain,” ICED chairman, Dr. Namanga Ngongi

The event, which brought together researchers, government executives from the agriculture sector, local and international agribusiness firms, farmers, financial institutions, insurance firms, potential investors, society organizations and thought leaders called on governments to work in partnership with researchers and evaluators.

Delegates discussed actionable strategies to reverse the current trend which included among others:

  • Need to scale-up sharing of results and evidence coming out of evaluation and research projects to spur growth in African agriculture and contribute to a transformation agenda.
  • Need to promote evidence-based research and results to drive the development agenda
  • Need to scale up documentation of best-practices and identification of what works, for whom, Where, how, and at what cost. Africa is depending on us to catalyze its agricultural transformation agenda.
  • Need to enhance integration of gender dimensions in all evidence based decision making.
  • Working in Partnership remains imperative. No single organization can do this alone.
  • Improving food security through the introduction of new seed varieties: How effective are demonstration plots and field days in influencing farmers adoption behavior towards new maize and bean varieties? Dr Mercy Kamau Dr Fred Bagamba
  • Information and extension: reaching farmers where they are Mr. Donald Mavindidze; Mr. George Marechera
  • Impact of push pull technology on maize production and poverty reduction in Kenya Dr Menale Kassie
  • Evidence on Mobile Phone Extension from Kenya and Beyond . Prof. Michael Kremer, Gates Professor of Developing Societies, Harvard University
Translating Evidence to Policy and Practice: Lessons and Experiences from Agricultural Policy Research 
  • Dr Mercy Kamau, MLE Director, Tegemeo Institute 
  • Dr Lilian Kirimi, Research Director, Tegemeo Institute 
  • Dr Timothy Njagi, M and E Specialist, Tegemeo Institute 
  • Dr Miltone Ayieko, Outreach, Communication and Partnerships Coordinator, Tegemeo Institute 
  • Moderator : Dr Mary W.K. Mathenge, Director, Tegemeo Institute 

The Conference was hosted by the International Centre for Evaluation and Development (ICED) in collaboration with Agricultural Technology Adoption Initiative (ATAI), the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Assets and Market Access (AMA Innovation Lab), and Tegemeo Institute.