Focus on using Southern evidence, say PEP staff at international conferences

October 20, 24 and 27, 2023

Senior PEP staff advocate for locally-generated evidence to inform more effective and sustainable policies at international development events.

PEP’s Executive Director, Prof. Jane Mariara, and two senior PEP staff advocated for locally-generated evidence as a vital component in policymaking, while speaking at three international events.

“Research and policy must go together. How do we build a bridge between research and policy at the national and local level?” asked Prof. Mariara at the What Works Global Summit 2023 in Ottawa, Canada, on October 20.

Prof. Mariara and Marjorie Alain were panellists during the session on “Knowledge mobilisation, evidence architecture and evidence to policy and practice".

As PEP’s Director of Engagement, Impact, and Monitoring and Evaluation, Ms. Alain explained how a policy paper analysis is an important tool for translating knowledge from researchers to policymakers, positioning evidence as a useful input for policymaking.

When asked how researchers can produce evidence that fits international donors’ themes and priorities but applies to the needs of the local situation, Ms. Alain explained that locally-based PEP researchers define their research questions in close consultation with the local stakeholders and research users. (Find out more about PEP’s approach.)

Prof. Mariara also highlighted PEP’s Call to Action to increase the participation of Southern researchers in economic development research debates, underlining the importance for governments to seek evidence locally.

Continuing on the topic of local evidence for policymaking, PEP’s Senior Programme Manager, Peter Nderitu, represented the organisation in a panel discussion on the role of North-South partnerships in localising evidence generation at the Southern Voice Research Conference 2023 in Nairobi, Kenya, on October 24.

When asked about the challenges PEP faces as a Southern organisation seeking to partner with Northern donors, he said: “Capacity building has fallen out of favour [with Northern donors] but remains an important part of research delivery initiatives for ensuring the quality of the evidence generated by local researchers.”

Mr. Nderitu also called for donors to allocate more resources to support locally-led evidence generation, and particularly impact evaluations, as the supply is not sufficient to meet increasing demands.

On October 27, Prof. Mariara spoke about amplifying the voices of Southern researchers in the Global South at two sessions—the Global Perspectives panel and the Town Hall on Challenges to Democracy—during the Fulbright Canada Colloquium IV in Honolulu, Hawai’i. She reiterated how policies based on locally-generated evidence address the problems that people care about on topics and in countries that are relevant but marginalised.

Prof. Jane Mariara (right) on stage with the panel at the FCC Town Hall
PEP's Executive Director, Prof. Jane Mariara (right), was part of an expert panel speaking on "Challenges to Democracy" during the Fulbright Canada Colloquium IV Town Hall.



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