The Africa Evidence Network (AEN) is a broad community of over 5000 diverse people who share a vision to see an end to poverty and inequality in Africa. The Network’s mission is to work with others to contribute to this vision by increasing the use of evidence in decision-making. The Network is pan-African, open to all who live and work on the continent.
It is unique in its inclusivity and diversity in six broad dimensions. It spans i) all countries in Africa; ii) all sectors across the Sustainable Development Goals; iii) all spheres, including government, academia, civil society and all intermediaries; iv) the full diversity of roles within these spheres from members of parliaments to program managers to researchers; v) all elements of the evidence production and use cycle, from the generation of evidence to its integration into policy and implementation; and vi) all types of evidence from administrative data, to evaluations of all kinds, to experimental research, to citizen experiences and systematic syntheses of primary studies.
Our goals are to foster collaboration among those engaged in or supporting evidence-informed decision-making (EIDM) in Africa, increase knowledge and understanding of EIDM, share capacities across the evidence-informed decision-making ecosystem, improve the enabling context by promoting EIDM in Africa, and advocate for Africa’s full voice and participation in the national, regional and global movements to increase EIDM.
The AEN is led by two co-chairs: Siziwe Ngcwabe and Rhona Mijumbi. They are supported by the outgoing and founding chair, Ruth Stewart. Under the management of Siziwe, the work of the AEN is supported by its Secretariat, which includes Charity Chisoro (Programme officer: Enhancing evidence capacities), Hazel Zaranyika (Programme officer: Making Connections and Building Collaborations), Andile Madonsela (Programme officer: Evidence-Informed Decision-Making Innovations), Candice Nolan (Communications and Events), and Shafieqah Hutton (Administration and Communications).
A short video about how the AEN began, produced in 2012.
There are three parts to the governance structure of the AEN: the secretariat, the advisory group, and the reference group. The secretariat works closely with the chairperson/s to progress the strategic goals of the Network. The AEN advisory group consists of prominent individuals in the EIDM space both regionally and internationally. These individuals provide guidance on the strategic direction of the Network. Membership to this group is invited. The AEN reference group is made up of a representative sample of AEN members. Members volunteer to share their time and energy to review and provide a members’ perspective on suggested changes within the Network. Any AEN member can apply to be part of the reference group.