By Siziwe Ngcwabe, Africa Evidence Network Senior Manager
The Africa Evidence Network is a project of the Africa Centre for Evidence (ACE), a research center within the University of Johannesburg. Our team at the University has provided the secretariat to the Africa Evidence Network (AEN) since the Network’s formation in late 2012. The AEN is a not-for-profit project within University (also a non-profit-making institution).
We believe that power and knowledge for change is ultimately contained within communities, and that as such only together can evidence-informed decision-making become a reality in the continent. The AEN consists of over 1000 members from across the continent, crossing sectors and including a balanced membership across evidence producers, users and intermediaries. The Network is committed to:
- Develop and support an efficient and effective evidence community in Africa
- Increase the use of evidence in decision-making
- Reduce poverty and inequality across the continent
We also aim to share information, increase understanding and raise awareness of evidence in order to develop and support an efficient and effective evidence community in Africa. In doing so, we aim to increase the use of evidence in decision-making in order to contribute to reductions in poverty and inequality across the continent. More information about ACE and AEN can be accessed through their websites https://africacentreforevidence.org /www.africacentreforevidence.com. We would like to hear from you please communicate with us on our social media platforms below:
LinkedIn: Africa Evidence Network
You Tube: Africa Evidence Network
Where are we going?
After being awarded a 19-month funding grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation: Global Development and Population, the Africa Evidence Network (AEN) has appointed me, Siziwe Ngcwabe as the new senior manager and lead to the AEN team based at the Africa Centre for Evidence. As the new director of operations for the AEN, she will lead in developing the Network’s strategic plan, refining its membership consultation, and broadening its funding base.
We will review our current situation, challenges, and changes which we will effect for future development, our first step will be the development of the strategic plan to come to a common understanding regarding what the future should look like for AEN. The key questions that we would answer are: what are our priorities in the next 3-5 years, our strategic long term goals, how these will assist AEN achieve its vision.
The second step that will be undertaken is the strengthening of AEN systems in order to provide effective and efficient services to our members. The areas identified below are key to refining the way AEN conducts its business to the future. We will strive to create sustainable competitive advantage that will continue over time to define AEN as the best and unique in is approach.
As part of this process the ongoing consultation with existing members will be conducted to ensure AEN meets their actual needs, increase participation and contribution. The membership will also be diversify to ensure the membership base is increased and different sectors are involve throughout the African continent and beyond.
The Evidence 2018 conference will be taking place in September 25- 28, 2018 at the CSIR International Convention Centre in Pretoria, South Africa. We seek to encourage, promote and showcase evidence-informed decision-making (EIDM) in Africa, thereby contributing to the development of effective public policies and efficient implementation of services, as well as joint learning on interventions that tackle poverty and equality. Together we will tackle some of the biggest priority areas facing the continent, identifying and unpacking evidence-informed solutions. More information about the conference and registration can be accessed through this website www.evidenceconference.org.za.
As the AEN team we are looking forward to 2018 and beyond. We would like to take you with us through this journey as members and partners. I would like to leave you with this quote by Reggie Jackson. “Winning is the science of preparation and preparation can be defined in three actions:
- Leave nothing undone
- No detail is too small
- No task is too large
Most of the time the difference between winning and losing, success and failure, can be the smallest detail”.