Evidence to Action Conference
Treasury Cabinet Secretary (CS) Mr. Henry Rotich speaks during the Evidence to Action Conference opening ceremony at the Auditorium on Thursday July, 26. Photo: Antonio Longangi

By Salome Asena and Diana Meso

USIU-Africa through the School of Graduate Studies, Research & Extension hosted the first Africa Monitoring and Evaluation conference -Evidence to Action, themed “Bridging the Gap: Strengthening the connections between Research, Evaluation and Evidence-based Policies and Practices in Sub-Saharan Africa” from Thursday July 26 to Friday July 27.

The two day conference which was held in partnership with International Centre for Evaluation and Development (ICED), the Monitoring and Evaluation Department, the National Treasury and Ministry of Planning among other institutions, brought together  over 400 participants including top government officials, researchers, instititutions of higher learning, embassies and agencies from across the globe.

The conference provided a platform for participants to discuss issues surrounding credible research and relevant evidence to inform policies and decision-making processes, as well as discuss the importance of monitoring and evaluation.
Present at the opening ceremony on Thursday, July 26 at the auditorium,  the Treasury Cabinet Secretary (CS) Mr. Henry Rotich said that the government has set aside at least Sh6 billion aimed at enhancing transparency in government operations and hold those in charge accountable for taxpayer money through monitoring and evaluation. Additionaly, the CS said that this will strengthen efficiency in utilization of resources and timely realisation of results leading to speedy development in the country.

The Chancellor Dr. Manu Chandaria, in his welcoming remarks said that it is important for institutions and organizations to make policy based on evidence adding that anything without evidence does not work. He further said that through evidence, the process of policy making  will be efficient.

Concurring with the Chancellor, the Vice Chancellor Prof. Paul Zeleza pointed out that the university recognizes the importance of making decisions based on research evidence. He said that through the School of Graduate Studies, Research & Extension, the university is able to increase research capacity, monitor and evaluate and contribute to the research agenda both internally and externally.

Dr. David Amweyaw, Chief Executive Officer -ICED, said that the conference will bridge the gap between the researchers, the evaluators and policy makers hence the theme of the conference. He further said that the conference aims at increasing policy relevance, demand driven research and the adoption of evidence into policy making decision.

Also present at the event was Dr. Julius Muia, Principal Secretary for Planning, The National Treasury and Planning, Hon. Dr. Makali Mulu, Kenya National Assembly, Hon. Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei, Cabinet Minister, The Ministry of Monitoring and Evaluation, Ghana.

Other partners in the organization of the conference included; Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research, University of Ghana Feed the Future Innovation Labs for Assets and Market Access, University of California Davis (AMA Basis), Agricultural Technology Adoption Initiative (ATAI), Tegemo Institute of Agricultural Policy and Development (Egerton University), African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP) and Campbell Collaboration.