Lessons for using evidence in policy and practice

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 11534
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/15433

If you would like to obtain a copy of this Research Output, please contact Hanlie Baudin at researchoutputs@hsrc.ac.za.

Abstract

This final chapter draws together findings and lessons from this study with reference to the analytical framework described in Chapter 3. We reflect on the evidence journeys of the cases in their individual contexts. Diverse sources of evidence were used in across the different cases, and a wide range of evidence use interventions applied. Where an evidence system (such as a national evaluation system) existed, it helped to standardise many of these interventions. Building agreement and trust were key mechanisms leading to change in all the cases, spurring commitment to act. All the case studies resulted in changes in procedures, in some cases extending to changes in policies or budgets. A core message is that evidence use is complex and begins long before an evidence journey starts. Evidence use needs to be planned for and woven into the institutional culture. This needs active facilitation of the process, often in a knowledge brokering role which manages both the supply of and the demand for evidence. Is evidence use the answer to African problems? On its own it is not, but it can make a contribution by helping to lessen the influence of partisan interests and providing some of the answers needed when decisions have to be taken.