The Evidence Leaders in Africa project aims to expand leadership for the use of evidence in policy formulation and implementation by African governments. The project will run for 2 years, coordinated by AFIDEP and the African Academy for Sciences (AAS).
The Evidence Leaders in Africa project will empower AAS’ scholars to proactively engage governments to use science and innovation and champion institutionalisation of EIDM in East and West Africa.
The project will work with Fellows and Affiliates of the AAS.
The project will use various approaches to expand leadership for use of evidence in policy formulation and implementation by African governments. These include:
Sensitisation of scholars on their role in promoting EIDM in government
A sensitisation workshop will be conducted with Fellows from the AAS on pathways to entrenching an EIDM culture in government agencies, enhancing their skills and capacities to proactively engage with policy making processes and actors in the use of science and innovation for sustainable development.
Capacity building of early and mid-career researchers on EIDM
Understanding the value of EIDM at an early stage in one’s career can leave a lasting impact that transforms researchers from being holed up in the academic space to becoming effective EIDM champions within policy spaces. Capacity building and mentorship activities will be implemented to enhance understanding of the value and strategies for EIDM among early-to-mid-career researchers and increase their commitment to contribute to efforts to institutionalise a culture of EIDM. This activity is expected to contribute to increasing the number of academic leaders championing EIDM in Africa.
Evidence leadership award
The project will introduce an EIDM leadership award to recognize AAS scholars innovating with interventions that enhance EIDM culture in government institutions. The award will have a monetary value of US$5,000 for the winner, US$2,000 for the first runners-up and US$ 1,000 for the second runners-up. AAS fellows, grantees, affiliates and other mid- and early-career researchers will be eligible for the award.
Provision of seed grants to innovative initiatives
Competitive seed grants will be awarded to fellows with innovative approaches that spearhead implementation of initiatives aimed at addressing specific bottlenecks that curtail institutionalisation of EIDM in government. Grants worth a total of US$20,000 will go to four winning proposals and the competition will be open to AAS fellows with existing strong and trusted relationships with government agencies. This is because such relationships, trust and respect are important prerequisites for the successful implementation of initiatives to institutionalise evidence use within government agencies.
Examples of initiatives that the project will support for both the fellows and early-to-mid-career researchers:
Sharing of learning.
A conference to facilitate sharing of EIDM lessons within AAS networks comprising researchers, policymakers, and practitioners in East and West Africa will be held. The conference will comprise a call for abstracts on lessons and experiences from EIDM initiatives (individual and institutional efforts) within AAS networks, selection of abstracts, award of travel grants to authors of selected abstracts, and travel grant awards to key EIDM actors from the two regions to ensure representation and deepen reach.