Count down to Evidence 2016 (81 days to go…)

By Precious Motha, AEN Co-ordinator and Ruth Stewart, AEN Chairperson

Moyo zoo lake

The 2014 Colloquium hosted a networking event at Moyo Zoo Lake in Johannesburg

We are 81 days away from the biggest gathering of the evidence-informed decision-making (EIDM) community in Africa: Evidence 2016 will be taking place at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research International Convention Centre (CSIR ICC) in Pretoria from 20 -22 September 2016. You can register here.

Evidence 2016 has an impressive line-up of thought leaders in the field of EIDM from around the world. Speakers include those working in government, parliament, civil society and research institutions. Minister Naledi Pandor of the Department of Science and Technology in South Africa will be giving a keynote, and other plenary speakers include Honourable Olfa Soukri Cherif, Member of Parliament and Member of the Committee on Finance in Tunisia. Sir Ian Chalmers, a stalwart in advancing the use of evidence in policy-making in medicine, one of the founders of the Cochrane Collaboration, and coordinator of the James Lind Initiative, will be delivering a message of support. In all our programme includes representation from 15 countries.

The conference themes are ‘Engage, Understand, Impact’, resonating with the current priorities and concerns in EIDM across Africa. Firstly, there is a need to encourage and promote EIDM in Africa, thereby contributing to the development of effective public policies, efficient implementation of services, as well as joint learning on interventions that tackle poverty and inequality in African countries. Secondly, there is a need to communicate these advances, share lessons learned and explore opportunities for the application of EIDM in Africa. And last but not least, to build a community of relevant institutions, organizations and professionals through the AEN to act as a regional resource hub.

The Evidence 2016 conference programme features a rich and exciting array of presentations and activities about all facets of evidence based practice that will be of interest to professionals and organisations in the EIDM field. The conference will have 40 presentations from local and international speakers. These presentations will provide an opportunity for delegates to hear about cutting edge research in the EIDM field as well as discussions about the future of evidence-informed policy-making.  Complimenting these presentations are interactive panel discussions which promise to be informative, engaging and thought-provoking.

On 20 September 2016, the conference agenda will focus on the importance of engagement between researcher and policy makers. Further, there will parallel panel discussions which address the engagement of stakeholders or users and policy-makers with EIDM. On the first night of the conference delegates will also enjoy a welcome cocktail reception hosted by the City of Tshwane which will be held at Freedom Park in Pretoria. This is a networking event where delegates will have an opportunity to network and experience South Africa’s heritage through sightseeing of the museum and learning about the cultural institution which is dedicated to chronicling and honouring the many who contributed to South Africa’s liberation.

On 21 September 2016, the second day of the conference focuses on ‘Understanding’ and the sessions are divided in two parts. The morning sessions include a panel discussion on systematic reviews for EIDM, a training workshop on the evaluation of government programmes and oral poster presentations. The second part of the session which is after lunch include a panel discussion on monitoring and evaluation for EIDM, a training workshop on evidence synthesis methods and oral poster presentations. Later in the day there will be a cross government panel session which is followed by the AEN AGM. On 22 September 2016, the Evidence conference will close with two fascinating sessions dedicated to the positive impact of evidence-informed policy-making in Africa. These will include an opportunity to discuss the impact of networks and explore the future of the AEN.

Conference Information

Evidence 2016, will take place at the CSIR International Convention Centre in Pretoria from 20-22 September 2016.

Regular registration is open until 9 September 2016.

For more information visit the conference website: http://www.evidenceconference.org.za/