Evidence-Informed Decision-Making: Sharing Reflections, Insights and Lessons to Enrich Development Efforts in Africa

This issue of the African Development Perspectives brings you a wide range of lessons, experiences and insights drawn from past and ongoing efforts to increase the use or consideration of evidence in development efforts in sub-Saharan Africa. The Issue is a collage of interesting topics covering capacity building for evidence-informed policymaking (EIPM), evidence in African parliaments, the role of evidence in unlocking the policy implementation impasse in many resource-poor countries, designing evaluations that can be used in informing government decisions, networks promoting EIPM in Africa, the central place of politics in EIPM, and monitoring and measuring EIPM efforts. In 'Lessons from capacity building efforts' we discuss the lessons from these initiatives in Africa in order to inform future EIPM. In 'Evidence Use in African Parliaments' the state of evidence use in the Kenyan Parliament, as well as, the sharing of lessons from work with various African parliaments and parliamentary networks in improving members of parliament’s (MPs) demand and use of evidence in their work are discussed. Country teams shared innovative ways they are using to facilitate increased use of evidence in tackling implementation challenges, the challenges they continue to face, and identified ideas for entrenching evidence use in implementation processes in the article 'Can evidence unlock the policy implementation challenge in resource-poor countries?' 'Designing evaluations for decision-making' discusses three ways of designing evaluations so that these are useful for governments’ decision-making. The role of networks in extending and strengthening practice, and facilitating the sharing of lessons in development efforts is well known. In this article 'Networks championing evidence' we discuss how various networks are promoting EIPM practice in Africa. This Issue ends with a commentary ,in 'Politics and evidence ', that argues that scientists and other professionals seeking to promote and support the use of evidence in policymaking must pay attention to politics.