You might write out a memorandum of understanding, you shall do A, B, sign here. It goes beyond that… The Network sees value and takes risks… They see the value and they champion the value.
Executive Director of the Center for Rapid Evidence Synthesis (ACRES) at Makerere University Rhona Mijumbi has been a member of the AEN since 2014. She reflects on her impression when the Africa Evidence Network approached her to be a co-chair of EVIDENCE 2018.
"That was really huge. They do see the value that is within the different members of the Network. I was really privileged to serve the Network in that way."
According to Rhona the AEN seems willing to take risks together with its members, stepping out of familiar territory. An example of this was that the AEN was going to co-host Evidence 2020 with ACRES, and outside of South Africa for the first time, as Rhona explains:
"At the point where they now want to put their foot out for the first time and do it in another country they chose Uganda and to co-host with my centre. It didn’t go through because of the pandemic, but hopefully it will happen again. But even if it is doesn’t happen, that is a gesture. I don’t think they understand the volume that it speaks. The value that you see in a partner. You might write out a memorandum of understanding, you shall do A, B, sign here. It goes beyond that… The Network sees value and takes risks… They see the value and they champion the value. On some level they might be doing it consciously but I think that there is so much that they are doing unconsciously and I hope that this brings it to the forefront so that they are proud of themselves."