An introduction to evidence-informed policy and practice in Africa

SOURCE: Using evidence in the policy and practice: lessons from Africa
OUTPUT TYPE: Chapter in Monograph
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2021
TITLE AUTHOR(S): I.Goldman, M.Pabari
SOURCE EDITOR(S): I.Goldman, M.Pabari
KEYWORDS: AFRICA, AFRICAN POLICY, POLICY IMPLEMENTATION
DEPARTMENT: Developmental, Capable and Ethical State (DCES)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 11537
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/15435

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Abstract

This chapter introduces the theory around evidence and evidence-based policy making, otherwise referred to as evidence-informed policy and practice. The authors acknowledge that, in practice, policy makers use values, experience and political necessity as well as evidence to inform decisions, so they apply a limited or bounded rationality. We discuss different types of evidence use, including instrumental, conceptual, symbolic and process use. An overview is given of the historical development of use of evidence, in Africa and internationally, from a focus on data to monitoring and evaluation to evaluation as a distinct discipline, and the move from single studies to research synthesis. The role of knowledge brokers is discussed, dealing with both the supply and demand for evidence. The authors emphasise the importance of creating an enabling environment for evidence use. This is introduced in this chapter and is a theme throughout the book.