Using Evidence in Policy and Practice
Lessons from Africa
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This book asks how governments in Africa can use evidence to improve their policies and programmes, and ultimately, to achieve positive change for their citizens. Looking at different evidence sources across a range of contexts, the book brings policy makers and researchers together to uncover what does and doesn’t work and why.
Case studies are drawn from five countries and the ECOWAS (west African) region, and a range of sectors from education, wildlife, sanitation, through to government procurement processes. The book is supported by a range of policy briefs and videos intended to be both practical and critically rigorous. It uses evidence sources such as evaluations, research synthesis and citizen engagement to show how these cases succeeded in informing policy and practice. The voices of policy makers are key to the book, ensuring that the examples deployed are useful to practitioners and researchers alike.
This innovative book will be perfect for policy makers, practitioners in government and civil society, and researchers and academics with an interest in how evidence can be used to support policy making in Africa.
The Open Access version of this book, available at https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003007043, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license
Table of Contents
1. Introduction to the Book 2. An Introduction to Evidence-Informed Policy and Practice in Africa 3. Using Evidence in Africa 4. Mere Compliance or Learning 5. Using Evaluations to Inform Policy and Practice in a Government Department 6. Use of Evidence in a Complex Social Programme 7. The Influence of Local Ownership and Politics of the Use of Evaluations in Policy Making 8. Rapidly Responding to Policy Queries with Evidence 9. The Challenges and Potential of Evaluations to Positively Inform Reforms 10. Parliament and Public Participation in Kenya 11. The Contribution of Civil Society Generated Evidence to the Improvement of Sanitation Services in Ghana 12. Using Evidence for Tobacco Control in West Africa 13. Lessons for Using Evidence in Policy and Practice
Ian Goldman, Advisor on Evaluation and Evidence Systems, CLEAR Anglophone Africa; Adjunct Professor, University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Mine Pabari, Visiting Research Fellow, CLEAR Anglophone Africa, Kenya.
"The participation of my ministry in the research and writing of this book has been a great opportunity to mobilise the key stakeholders in the agriculture sector around the importance of evaluation and the incomparable benefits of developing public policy based on evidence." -- Bonaventure Kouakanou, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Benin
"I highly recommend this book. It is a cogent analysis of why all policy-makers ought to use evidence and citizen engagement, routinely, to improve decision-making." -- Judi Wakhungu, EGH, Kenya Ambassador to France, Portugal, Serbia & Holy Sea; previously Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources
"Profiling the work of policy-makers to use evidence in their decision-making is so important, and the world has much to learn from our experiences in Africa. This book makes a valuable contribution for all of us working to support better decisions based on better evidence." -- Ruth Stewart, Africa Centre for Evidence, University of Johannesburg, South Africa; Chair, Africa Evidence Network
"In an era of Africa awakening, there is no time to waste on traditions, fads, success stories, and intuitions. The time has come for African policy-makers and development professionals to move to evidence-based decision making and actions. This book showcases the rich use of evidence from selected African countries that can serve as a guide for those interested to learn what others have done in an African context." -- David Sarfo Ameyaw, CEO/President, The International Centre for Evaluation and Development, Kenya
"This is an extremely timely book that contributes to both the theory and practice of evidence-informed public policy-making. By drawing on grounded examples from a range of contexts and issues, these African case studies reveal not only that evidence matters, but that it can, and does, have a real impact on positive societal change." -- Peter Taylor, formerly International Development Research Centre, now Institute for Development Studies, UK
"Using Evidence in Policy and Practice is an important and timely issue for Africa, if the continent is to develop to be the Africa we want. The capacity to understand "what works and what does not and why" is critical for any government or development partner that aspires to deliver results to citizens. I recommend this book to all persons that have the mission to enhance service delivery through better policy implementation." -- Lawal Zakariya’u, Director National Monitoring & Evaluation, Ministry of Finance, Budget & National Planning, Nigeria
"The book presents a timely value proposition for ongoing efforts to institutionalise a culture of evidence informed policy making in Africa. The diverse case studies illustrate the commonality of practical challenges and ultimate development benefits of staying the course in making evidence count in addressing Africa’s development bottlenecks." -- Eliya Msiyaphazi Zulu, Executive Director, African Institute for Development Policy, Kenya
"This is exactly the book we have been waiting for! It is an ideal text for the graduate programmes and executive courses that we teach at the Mandela School of Public Governance." -- Alan Hirsch, University of Cape Town, South Africa
"A good read for the public sector. The book is a great value add at a time where the demand for better use of evidence in public sector is so critical to improve evidence use for better planning, budgeting, and resource allocation and ultimately improved policy performance." -- Zeenat Ishmail, Chief Director Strategic Management Information and Head of Provincial Data Office, Department of the Premier, Western Cape Government, South Africa
"This book cannot be more opportune. Not only does it reinforce the importance of evidence for decision and policy making but it also addresses both the political and technical dimensions of evaluation and evidence use. The former is generally absent in the literature." -- Ada Ocampo, Senior Evaluation Specialist, UNICEF
"This book is a masterwork on promotion of effective evidence-use among decision makers and citizenry, an area neglected for so long despite Africa being rich with evidence. It will change your perception and capabilities in formulating evidence-based decisions." -- Sophie Kang’oma, Director of Monitoring and Evaluation, Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Malawi
"This is a pathbreaking book containing the body of evidence for policy makers and evaluation practitioners on the usefulness of evidence-based policy making. I will recommend it any day!!" -- Thabani Buthelezi, Chief Director: Monitoring and Evaluation, Department of Social Development, South Africa
"In this era of Climate Emergency and ever widening societal inequality, evidence-based solutions are a necessity for all societal sectors. Through practical case studies the book presents policy makers and implementers evidence of how evidence has been used to bring African solutions to global challenges. An enlightening read, indeed." -- Tsakani Ngomane, Deputy Director General: Climate Change, Department of Environmental Affairs, Forestry and Fisheries, South Africa