Strengthening the African Peer Review Mechanism: Insights from National Governing Councils

"National Governing Councils (NGCs)2 are the lynchpin of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM). Situated between the state’s political leadership and the technical institutions carrying out the research, NGCs are crucial to the development of a meaningful Country Self-Assessment Report (CSAR) and viable National Programmes of Action (NPoAs). They provide oversight for all subsequent stages of the APRM. To achieve maximum impact, NGCs need to be free of political interference, have clear and concise mandates, and receive meaningful technical support. To date, a lack of consistency across APRM countries on the protocols for NGCs, including their scope of responsibility and sources of funding, has tended to hinder progress. Continued efforts towards standardising APRM processes, especially with regard to NGC activities, may contribute to more efficient CSAR and APRM outcomes going forward."