By Siziwe Ngcwabe and Ruth Stewart
The field of evidence-informed decision-making in Africa has gone from strength to strength over the last decade. We have seen a growth in the number of people engaged in producing and using evidence for decision-making across the continent, greater depth in the ingenuity and sophistication of the work that is done, and a growing voice for Africans in the global evidence conversation. Individuals and organisations have developed new research programmes using rigorous methods to monitor the progress of government programmes, evaluate the impact of development initiatives, and improve the quality of data for decision-making. Others have sought out, commissioned, and integrated relevant and reliable evidence to inform decision-making at local, regional and national level. International agencies, funders, networks and collaborations have got involved, encouraging and facilitating an increased use of evidence by Africans for Africa.
At the Africa Evidence Network (AEN), where we aim to bring together all of those working across the evidence ecosystem, we have seen the African EIDM community grow in strength and sustainability. Where international funders once set the agendas for work in data generation, M&E, impact evaluation, evidence synthesis and more, we now see Africans and African initiatives taking the lead. We firmly believe that the time has come to recognise publicly the leadership of Africa in this field. We are therefore proud to be launching the Africa Evidence Leadership Award.
The main aim of the Africa Evidence Leadership Award is to showcase you as leaders and influential contributors in this field, as well as raise the status of Africa in evidence-informed decision-making discussions by recognising the impactful, insightful, effective, innovative work, and service contribution that supports and promotes evidence-informed decision-making in Africa.
This annual prize will highlight each year the great contribution of one influential leader in this field. The award winner will be profiled internationally for their work and receive travel bursaries to attend and present at both our own community’s event, EVIDENCE 2018, and another evidence event of their choice.
AEN is committed to develop and support an efficient and effective evidence community in Africa and Increase the use of evidence in decision-making through this initiative.The exciting part about the selection of the prize winner is that it is AEN member driven. In a member-driven network, members are actively engaged in the activities AEN performs. As a result members have an opportunity to select a leader amongst their peers in this field. This is in line with Network’s areas of work which are knowledge sharing, understanding and awareness raising. We believe this process will strengthen peer-to-peer learning, facilitate relationship building and networking on EIDM across the continent.
Are you someone who aspires to make a difference in your work? Who is committed to furthering the agenda for evidence-informed decision-making, whether working in one sector on one aspect of the evidence ecosystem, maybe M&E or knowledge-brokering, or whether working at a big picture cross disciplinary level?
Are you someone who can inspire others, within your own networks, nationally and internationally? We want to hear your story, learn about your work and share it widely to inspire others. We want to work together with you to showcase the importance of using evidence to inform decisions.
If you’re not sure if your work fits within the ‘evidence agenda’, the answer is almost certainly “YES” – but feel free to check with us, and make your case for why this includes you. We want you to aspire to leadership. Please stretch and inspire us and others.
Do you know someone who deserves this award? Encourage them to get in touch.
Please apply, prompt others to apply, and share this news widely with others.
The terms of reference, details on the application process and deadlines are all available here.
We are waiting for your application!