July 26, 2018 - PEP Executive Director, Prof. Jane Mariara, discussed connecting research to policy at the 2018 Evidence to Action Conference in Nairobi, Kenya. Prof. Mariara participated as a panellist for a session discussing: “Strengthening of Policy Making Processes: The role of Evidence-Based Research and Evaluation.”
Prof. Mariara explained how PEP contributes to strengthening evidence-based policymaking. She highlighted the policy impact of PEP projects and how PEP requires researchers to engage with policy stakeholders from the outset and throughout the projects. She explained: “You have to make sure you are asking the right policy questions to make an impact.”
Answering a question on how evidence-based research can ensure the participation of everyone in a particular community to influence policy, Prof. Mariara spoke about CBMS research. She explained how CBMS researchers survey everyone in the target locality, providing data to identify who needs what support and which interventions. “By working in close consultation with local policymakers, CBMS data can inform very specific policies and make sure than no one is left behind,” she said.
The session featured six panelists from a range of African development and research institutions. Dr. Rose Ngugi from KIPPRA, who was moderating the session, summarized the key discussion points from the panelists saying: “Although focused on different areas, all these institutions are working towards ensuring good evidence for policymaking through essential capacity building, research design, and advocacy mechanisms.”
The 1st Evidence to Action Conference was held at the United States International University – Africa (USIU-Africa) in Nairobi from July 25 to 27, 2018. The conference centred on the theme of “Bridging the Gap: Strengthening connections between research and policy in sub-Saharan Africa.” It was organised by the International Centre for Evaluation and Development (ICED) in partnership with Campbell Collaboration, Agriculture Technology Adoption Initiative (ATAI), the AMA Innovation Lab, Tegemeo Institute, the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), Africa Institute of Development Policy (AFIDEP), USIU-Africa, and other partners.