Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Follow-up shows positive impacts of training on EIPM participants



Capacity building is an integral part of development assistance. It seeks to build the understanding, skills and knowledge-base of individuals and institutions. But after capacity building, it is prudent to justify the intervention by measuring the impact it has on trainees.

 In 2015, the VakaYiko consortium entered an agreement with the Civil Service Training Centre (CSTC) in Ghana to develop a course and train civil servants on Evidence-Informed Policy Making (EIPM). From April 20 to 30, 2015, 23 officers from 14 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the civil service and 2 parliamentary staff participated in the first batch of the course.





Participants were taken through all four (4) modules of the course ranging from the concepts of evidence and evidence-informed policymaking; challenges and opportunities involved with the use of evidence for policymaking; different sources of evidence and evidence products available; accessing these evidence literature; appraising the evidence literature; understanding methodological issues within the literature; and communicating evidence gathered to appropriate audience(s) using appropriate communication tools and media.


Based on Action Plans submitted a follow-up impact assessment was carried out from August 17 to October 8, 2015 for 3 main objectives;  to assess the status of Action Plan implementation by participants, to learn from conditions existing at their work places for course improvement, and to assist with communicating best practices. Data was collected from twenty participants served as respondents.

Five thematic areas were assessed:



Action Plan
Participants were assessed on the levels at which they had implemented their actions plans. Twenty percent of the participants completed the implementation of their action plans, 40% were almost complete and the remaining 40% were half way through the implementation of their plans.

On challenges encountered in the implementation of the action plans, 1 respondent did not encountered any challenge, 9 reported overloaded work schedules, 3 had a problem of internet connectivity, 3 were isolated by their members and 2 did not get adequate support from their colleagues.

Participants were also assessed on factors that created enabling environment for the implementation of their action plans. Sixteen (57.1%) respondents received cooperation from team members involved in the action plan implementation. This was confirmed by their supervisors. Other enabling factors for the performance include; the fact that activities being implemented were satisfying organisational needs; that minimal organisational resources were required; that strategic buy-ins were secured from stakeholders within and outside the organisations; and that participants showed positive attitude towards the implementation of action plans.

Internal monitoring and evaluation
Participants were required to monitor and evaluate their action plans, and they used varied means to monitor and evaluate their actions — crosschecking action plans; looking out for output/indicators; personal visits; as part of to do lists; and by collaborating with other colleagues.

Using these M&E activities as guiding tools, 1 participant developed an information request form to be used by the front desk unit of the organisation for information to regularise and clarify the nature of information request. Twelve others sensitised members of their organisations; whiles another 4 made efforts to organise internally created documents.

Another 3 participants satisfied their obligations by working to gather evidence in the form of data/information/research publications for their organisations, activities that have been stimulated by the training. Other outstanding activities perform by the participants include; uploading documents onto the website, gathering feedback, sensitisation and uploading database with current data.

Effects of training
Participants experience better appreciation of internal documents for EIPM; better understanding of research methodologies, increased knowledge of information/evidence sources, enhanced skill-set to access evidence, improved contribution to policy documents, critical thinking capacity when assessing evidence products and an increased awareness and appreciation of EIPM concepts.

General feedback and recommendation

In general the EIPM course has enhanced the skills of participants to access evidence, improved their contributions to policy documents and increased ability to communicate evidence. All the participants recommended EIPM training to their colleagues. The training is believed to be having significant effects on participants and their organisations. Constant introduction of innovations by participants to their work places will result is marked improvement in policy making processes with Ghana’s Civil Service.

It is recommended that support be offered to successful graduates of these trainings once they return to their organizations, and training partners must endeavour to consolidate the implementation of these action plan through follow-ups such as was conducted by VakaYiko partners.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Evidence-Informed Policy Making in Ghana—GINKS Shows the way



Evidence-Informed Policy Making in Ghana — GINKS Shows the way
There is a growing demand for evidence informed policy making to improve relevance, efficiency and effectiveness of policy reforms. It is argued that the absence of evidence leads to opinion based policies which rely deeply on either the selective use of evidence or experimental opinions of individuals or groups. 

Evidence-informed policy making is grounded on the fact that policy decisions should be informed by available evidence and balanced analysis of the policy issue in question. This is based on the fact that a policy decision made on evidence is likely to produce a better outcome than one that is opinion-based. 

The VakaYiko Consortium  
To increase the use of evidence in policy making in developing countries, the VakaYiko consortium, a network of NGOs working in Ghana, Zimbabwe and South Africa; the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and International Network for the Availability of Scientific Information (INASP) was formed based on the premise that for research evidence to be routinely and effectively used in policy-making, at least three factors need to be in place: individuals with the skills to access, evaluate and use research evidence; processes for handling research evidence in policy-making departments; and a facilitating environment that identifies and responds to research uptake needs.


Ghanaian Researchers’ Perspectives

From the perspectives of researchers, there is no synergy between them (researchers) and policy makers. There is also the need to demystify research and policy making. Even though there are a number of platforms from which evidence (in the form of data, research articles, expert opinion and citizen knowledge) can be accessed for policy making in Ghana, the question remains whether potential users are aware of these, and have the necessary skills to access them, and also check for quality across the various platforms.


GINKS Training Programmes

GINKS, the consortium representative in Ghana, started building the capacity of civil servants and parliamentary staff on evidence-informed policy making. So far, GINKS has trained over 60 people from Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) and information support staff of the Parliament of Ghana. In April, 2015, GINKS in collaboration with the Civil Service Training Centre (CSTC), trained staff from MDAs on evidence-informed policy making. The Head of Civil Service in Ghana, Nana Dwemena Agyekum, lauded the EIPM approach as a unique one that would move people away from the usual desk-top policy formulation to a more rigorous scientific process.  Clara Richards, Director of the consortium, said civil servants needed skills to be able to search for relevant information and effectively communicate it to those who make policy.

This programme was followed in October by another training programme for middle level staff working in MDAs. In her interaction with participants, the Principal of the CSTC, Mrs Dora Dei-Tumi indicated that the quality of information submitted to cabinet effects the quality of policies the government of the day will formulate. She reiterated the core function of the civil service as the provision of policy options for government, adding that the CSTC was taking advantage of GINKS’ support to build the capacity of civil servants to be able to provide information that speaks to the needs of government.


GINKS also recognises that the role information support staff of parliament play in policy. The organisation therefore opened this year with a ten day capacity building training for this level of staff. A Deputy Clerk of Parliament, Alhaji Ibrahim Gombilla, was excited at the support extended by GINKS to the parliamentary staff. He said parliament places a lot of emphasis on capacity building but did not have all the resources to do it alone; hence, GINKS' support was timely.

GINKS has also built the capacity of staff of District Assemblies through policy dialogue in Ho and Koforidua in the Volta and Eastern regions of Ghana respectively. 

Training people on evidence-informed policy making also involve evaluating the trainees at their work places to get first-hand information on how the training impacts on their performance. GINKS therefore make follow to ups to evaluate action plans drawn by trainees during these trainings and the results have been encouraging.

By Sule Jotie (GINKS)

Knowledge café on evidence-informed policy-making in Zimbabwe


There are examples of successful policies in Zimbabwe, informed 
by evidence. But, since independence, policymaking has largely 
been reactionary and ideologically driven. This has resulted in 
many policy inconsistencies and failures. The need to build 
institutional capacity to make informed policy decisions in 
Zimbabwe is especially urgent now, as Zimbabwe faces 
major economic challenges.

ZeipNet - Evidence Informed Policymaking Interviews


Evidence informed policymaking (EIPM) is an approach that 
ensures decision-making is well informed by the best available 
evidence. A number of studies show that most policy failures 
and inconsistencies are largely caused by, either a lack of evidence, 
or a lack of rigor in evidence used to create or review policies. 
EIPM, therefore, requires systematic and transparent access to, 
and appraisal of, evidence as part of the policymaking process.

Press Conference: Discussion Forum to be Hosted by ZeipNet in partnership with AEN


Zimbabwe Evidence Informed Policy Network in partnership 
with the African Evidence Network are to host a forum on the 
national evidence infrastructure in Zimbabwe: Strengthening 
the institutional landscape to support Evidence-Informed 
Policy-Making. Crowne Plaza Monomotapa Hotel, Harare

ZeipNet Interview series - Interview with ZimOnline Media


Published on Feb 4, 2016
Simbarashe Nyanhanga from ZimOnline News, a subsidiary 
of Simba Media Incorporated interviews Zimbabwe Evidence 
Informed Policy Network (ZeiNpet) officials Ronald Munatsi 
and Gilchrist Ndongwe on Evidence Informed Policy Making 
in Zimbabwe.This interview was done as a follow up to the 
press conference held by ZeipNet on the 2nd of February 2016.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Policy Dialogue Workshop: An interview with Wahab Zakari, Ghana


An interview with Wahab Zakari, Development Planning Officer, Agotime Ziope
 District Assembly, Ghana) http://agotimeziope.ghanadistricts.gov.gh/
Agotime Ziope formerly Adaklu Anyibe is one of the twenty five (25) Municipalities

 and Districts in the Volta Region of Ghana. The Administrative Capital of the District 

is Kpetoe. Agotime-Ziope District is bordered by the Republic of Togo to the East; 
Akatsi North and Central Tongu Districts to the South and the Adaklu District to the 
West and North. The District covers a total land area of about Six Hundred and 
Thirty-Seven kilometres square (637km2). Wahab talks about the opportunities
 that exist for Agotime Ziope District to use evidence in decision making and 
development planning, why he will recommend the course on evidence-informed 
policy making to Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).
The VakaYiko Consortium www.inasp.info/en/work/vakayiko/, a three year project 

working in Ghana, South Africa and Zimbabwe to build the capacity of policy
makers to access, evaluate and use evidence in policy-making. This interview 
was filmed during the policy dialogue workshop held in Ho, Volta Region of 
Ghana on 3rd November 2015. Editing by Joseph -- joetigo@gmail.com

Policy Dialogue: An interview with Felix Adom Boateng, Ghana


An interview with Felix Adom Boateng, Development Planning Practitioner, Regional 
Coordinating Council (Ho, Ghana) http://www.ghana.gov.gh/index.php/about-ghana/regions/volta.
Volta Region is one of Ghana's ten administrative regions. It is to the east of Lake Volta. Its 

capital is Ho. The Volta region of Ghana, lies to the east of the Volta lake. The region covers an area 
of 20,570 square kilometres representing 8.6% of Ghana. Between latitudes 5° 45’N and 8°45’N.  
Between the Volta Lake by the west and east by the Republic of Togo and south by the Atlantic Ocean.  
20,570 sq. kilometers i.e. 8.6% of the total area of Ghana.  The Region spans all the vegetational zones 
of  the country stretching from the Atlantic coast in the south to the north.
The region’s population in 2000 was 1,635,421. This implies, an increase of 35.0 per cent over the 1984 

count 1,211,907, giving an annual growth rate of 1.9 per cent. The intercensal growth rate shows little 
change from 2.0 per cent in 1970, 1.8 per cent in 1984 and 1.9 per cent in 2000. The population density 
of the region increased from 59 persons per square kilometre in 1984 to 79.5 persons in 2000.
Felix talks about the roles that Regional Coordinating Council plays to ensure good development programmes, 

the kind of evidence consumed for planning purposes and why he will recommend the course on evidence-informed 
policy to Metropolitan, Municipal and Districts Assemblies (MMDAs).
The VakaYiko Consortium www.inasp.info/en/work/vakayiko/, a three year project working in Ghana, South 

Africa and Zimbabwe to build the capacity of policy makers to access, evaluate and use evidence in policy-making. 
This interview was filmed during the policy dialogue workshop held in Ho, Volta Region of Ghana on 3rd 
November 2015. Editing by Joseph -- joetigo@gmail.com

Policy Dialogue Workshop: An interview with Abdulai Abdul Gafaru, Ghana


An interview with Abdulai Abdul Gafaru, Internal Auditor, Ho Municipal Assembly,  
Ghana http://ho.ghanadistricts.gov.gh/
Ho Municipal is one of the twenty five (25) Municipalities and Districts in the Volta 

Region of Ghana. The Municipality is also the administrative capital of the People of 
the Volta Region. The Municipality lies between latitudes 6 ᵒ 207N and 6 ᵒ55; N and 
longitude 0 ᵒ 127 E and 0 ᵒ 53 E. The Municipality shares boundaries with the Republic 
of Togo to the east, to the west with Ho West District, to the north with Hohoe Municipality 
and to the south with Agotime–Ziope. Abdulai talks about the opportunities that exist for 
Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to use evidence in their 
development planning, the role MMDAs play to ensure good development  projects
 within the municipality, the opportunities that exist for MMDAs to use evidence in 
their development process and why he will recommend the course of evidence-informed
 policy making course to all MMDAs.
The VakaYiko Consortium www.inasp.info/en/work/vakayiko/, a three year project working 

in Ghana, South Africa and Zimbabwe to build the capacity of policy makers to access, 
evaluate and use evidence in policy-making. Gafaru talks about the roles Metropolitan, 
Municipal and District Assemblies play to ensure good development projects within the 
municipality, Opportunities for Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) 
to use evidence and whether or not he will recommend the course on Evidence-informed
 policy making (EIPM) to MMDAs.

This interview was filmed during the policy dialogue workshop held in Ho, Volta Region of 

Ghana on 3rd November 2015. Editing by Joseph -- joetigo@gmail.com

Policy Dialogue, An interview with Johnson Addison, Ghana


An interview with Johnson Addison, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Hope for 
Future Generations, Ghana  http://www.hffg.org/
Since 2001, HFFG has worked in close collaboration with her Donors and Implementing 

Partners, national, regional, and district level stakeholders, communities, and other civil 
society organisations to inform communities and thereby transform lives, achieving the
 following in the process;
Established a reproductive health centre at Ekumfi Ekrowful in the Mfantseman East District 

of the central region to improve access to quality maternal, neonatal, child health and primary 
health care services to over 5,000 people in the facility’s catchment. Partnered the Ghana Health 
Service (GHS) to revamp and also rehabilitate health centres in communities in the Ajumako 
Enyan Essiam and Mfantseman districts of the central region.
Trained 50 Models of Hope to provide HIV related prevention, treatment, care and support services

 to Persons Living with HIV (PLHIV) across the central region of Ghana. Reached an average of 3,000 
PLHIV with HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services annually since 2007 in the Central and 
Brong Ahafo regions. Reached an average of 10,000 key population (Most at Risk Population) –sex 
workers and non-paying partners with HIV prevention messages since 2010 in the Brong Ahafo region 
of Ghana. Johnson talks about the extend to which Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies 
(MMDAs) use evidence in project development planning, the opportunities that exist for MMDAs to
 use evidence in project development planning and why he will recommend the course on evidence 
informed policy making to MMDAs.

The VakaYiko Consortium www.inasp.info/en/work/vakayiko/, a three year project working in Ghana,

 South Africa and Zimbabwe to build the capacity of policy makers to access, evaluate and use evidence 
in policy-making. This interview was filmed during the policy dialogue workshop held in Ho, Volta Region 
of Ghana on 3rd November 2015. Editing by Joseph -- joetigo@gmail.com

Policy Dialogue Workshop: An interview with K. Tenasu Gbedemah, Ghana


An interview with Tenasu Kofi Gbedemah, Voice Ghana, (Ho, Ghana) http://www.voiceghana.org
Volta Region is one of Ghana's ten administrative regions. It is to the east of Lake Volta. Its capital is Ho. The Volta region of Ghana, lies to the east of the Volta lake. The region covers an area of 20,570 square kilometres representing 8.6% of Ghana. Between latitudes 5° 45’N and 8°45’N.  Between the Volta Lake by the west and east by the Republic of Togo and south by the Atlantic Ocean.  20,570 sq. kilometers i.e. 8.6% of the total area of Ghana.  The Region spans all the vegetational zones of  the country stretching from the Atlantic coast in the south to the north.
Voice of People with Disability Ghana (VOICE GHANA) is a registered nonprofit, Ghanaian non-governmental organization with Charity No: G -10, 042 and DSW/5710. The organisation was formed in 2002 by a small group of people with disability who had a vision to form an NGO managed and staffed by people with disabilities for the benefit of persons with all category of disabilities in the Volta Region and Ghana.
This philosophy continues to this day as VOICE GHANA has a policy of recruiting more persons with disabilities as Board and staff members. The organization was formerly known as VOLPHIG. This name was changed to VOICE GHANA in 2009 as a result of our strategic direction to transform the organization from a regional based NGO of people with disabilities to a national organization to work with all people with disabilities at the grassroots level in Ghana. Tenasu talks about the extend to which Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies use evidence in development planning and why he will recommend the course on evidence-informed policy making to MMDAs.
The VakaYiko Consortium www.inasp.info/en/work/vakayiko/, a three year project working in Ghana, South Africa and Zimbabwe to build the capacity of policy makers to access, evaluate and use evidence in policy-making. This interview was filmed during the policy dialogue workshop held in Ho, Volta Region of Ghana on 3rd November 2015. Editing by Joseph -- joetigo@gmail.com

Evidence informed policy making: An interview with Dr. Joris Jerald Niilante Amissah, Ghana



An interview with Dr. Joris Jerald Niilante Amissah, Lecturer, Family and Consumer 
Sciences Department, University of Ghana (UG) www.ug.edu.gh . Jerald was one of 
the External speakers/ facilitators at the Evidence-informed policy making training 
for Parliament of Ghana staff.
The University of Ghana, the premier university and the largest university in Ghana 

was founded as the University College of the Gold Coast by Ordinance on August 11, 1948 
for the purpose of providing and promoting university education, learning and research.
As a University poised to distinguish itself in the area of research to make an impact at the 

national and international level, the University has launched a new Strategic Plan.
Dr. Aissah talks about how knowledge of research design can benefit parliamentary staff and 

also some factors to be considered in assessing research design of a piece of information.
The VakaYiko Consortium wwws.inasp.info/en/work/vakayiko/, a three year project working in 

Ghana, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe to build the capacity of policy makers to access, 
evaluate and use evidence in policy-making. This interview was filmed during Evidence informed 
policy making training course for Parliament of Ghana staff held in Afienya, near Accra, Ghana 
from 11th to 20th January 2016. Video and editing by Joseph -- joetigo@gmail.com

Evidence informed policy making - An interview with Dr. Isaac Frempong Mensa-Bonsu, Ghana


An interview with Dr. Isaac Frempong Mensa-Bonsu, Director for Plan Coordination, 
National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) https://www.ndpc.gov.gh/
 Dr. Mensa-Bonsu was one of the External speakers/ facilitators at the Evidence-informed 
policy making training for Parliament of Ghana staff.
The National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) was established under 

Articles 86 and 87 of the 1992 Constitution as part of the Executive. The National 
Development Planning Commission Act, 1994, (Act 479) and the National Development 
Planning (System) Act, 1994, (Act 480), provide the core legal framework for the establishment 
of the Commission and the performance of its functions. (Other laws of relevance to the 
Commission’s work are: the Local Government Act (Act 462) 1993; Local Government 
Service Act (Act 656) 2003; Petroleum Revenue Management Act (Act 815) 2011; Civil 
Service Act (PNDC Law 327) 1993; and Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund Act, (Act 877), 2014).
Dr. Mensa-Bonsu talks about the nature of policy making process in Ghana, the use of evidence in 

Ghana's policy making process and the opportunities that exist for the use of research evidence in 
the national policy making process in Ghana.
The VakaYiko Consortium wwws.inasp.info/en/work/vakayiko/, a three year project working in Ghana, 

South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe to build the capacity of policy makers to access, evaluate and use 
evidence in policy-making. This interview was filmed during Evidence informed policy making training 
course for Parliament of Ghana staff held in Afienya, near Accra, Ghana from 11th to 20th January 2016. 
Video and editing by Joseph -- joetigo@gmail.com