Information is increasingly becoming the most important currency in today’s global economy. With the United Nations predicting that the world population will hit the 9 billion mark by the year 2050 and that during the same period, Africa’s population is expected to double from the current 1.2 billion to 2.5 billion. In view of the above, there is an urgent need to define strategies to enhance Africa’s development Tied to this, there is a need to ensure that there is efficient information and knowledge being generated by researchers and M&E experts to influence decisions by key policymakers. In view of this, there’s therefore an ardent need to ensure that ongoing research and evaluation projects are producing information that is available, accessible, affordable and adoptable.
During the past decade, Africa has seen a huge growth and interest in production of research, monitoring and evaluation. Today, a large number of institutions are investing in production of huge amounts of stimulating research results as well as M&E data. However for many of them, the production of the research report often marks the end of the process, hence missing out on an opportunity to create meaningful change by influencing policy and practice at both the national and institutional level.
To aggravate the situation, there continues to be a big disconnect between generation and creation of new and solid evidence in development systems research efforts and the translation of that same evidence into data-informed policies. Policy makers struggle to find, collate, understand and apply the evidence to support their own decision-making needs, despite existing knowledge. These challenges are not insurmountable. With the right level of support and collaboration between researchers, evaluation experts and decision-makers, the translation of evidence-based research findings into actionable policy and programmatic guidance is an achievable goal.
It is against this background that the International Centre for Evaluation and Development (ICED) in conjunction with Tegemeo, Atai, BASIS and ISSER is organizing a five day Africa Evidence Conference in Nairobi next year to enhance collaboration between researchers and stakeholders and outline clear recommendations on how to ensure Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) and evidence-based research positively impacts regional and national priorities and contributes to the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the Malabo Declaration.
Through this convening, the organizers seek to ensure increased uptake and utilization of research and innovation in evaluation for development to influence policy and drive change at the national, regional and global levels.
The conference will offer an exciting platform for renowned research and evaluation professionals, and development practitioners from national, regional and international organizations to tackle important topics such as Agriculture and Food Systems in sub-Saharan Africa, Climate Change and Environment, Agriculture Risk, Index Insurance and Risk Mitigation, Private Sector in Development, Impact of investment in Agriculture and Food Systems, Innovative Finance, Credit and Savings for Smallholders, Gender and Youth in Agriculture and Food Systems, Youth Employment, National and Local Governance and Accountability, Evidence Synthesis and Impact Evaluation for Policy Making, Knowledge Brokering and Knowledge Translation.
The Conference will provide a platform for industry stakeholders to discuss strategies for enhancing the dissemination of research findings and ensuring that the process achieves the desired impact. They will provide stakeholders with a platform to do the following :
The objectives of the conference are as follows :
The Conference will have a five-day program as follows: The first two and a half days will be set aside for side events and exhibition while the remaining days will be scientific and technical sessions. Research and development papers will be presented in different sessions and will include the following activities:
The theme for the Conference, “Evidence to Action” is premised on the understanding that great research and evaluation findings have huge potential to positively influence Africa’s policy decisions and development agenda.
The Sub-Themes are as follows
Conference participants will be drawn from a diversity of stakeholders across Africa who are involved in the research and evaluation sector.
This includes the following:
• This initiative has attracted financial and technical support from key partners in the research and evaluation space including ICED. Organizers are reaching out to other local and global partners to support this great initiative.