Building Capacity to Use Research Evidence
A team from the University of Johannesburg led by Prof Ruth Stewart has been funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) for a 3-year programme of work building capacity to use research evidence. The University is working with a network of partners from across Africa, including the South African Cochrane Centre, the Centre for Evidence-Based Health Care at the University of Stellenbosch, the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie), the EPPI-Centre and many others. Our goal is to increase the use of evidence in decision-making in the governments of Malawi and South Africa. In 2014 we conducted ‘inception activities’ including landscape reviews and needs assessments, developing resources and building networks. Our capacity-building programme employs a mentorship-based model, with practical workshops and linked mentorships. We are also engaging with a wider community of practice across Africa building and supporting the Africa Evidence Network. As part of our support for the Network, we publish regular blogs, provide information on events across the continent via our website, share resources, and are hosting two conferences (in 2014 in Johannesburg, and this one in Pretoria). Together we form a broad community of evidence-producers and users with the goal of increasing both the production and use of research evidence across the region.