MPs, Parliamentary Staff sensitized on Evidence Based Research
Hon. Joseph Yieleh Chireh, MP for Wa West (middle) speaking at the occasion
The Member of Parliament for Wa West who is also the Chairman for the Health Committee of Parliament, Mr. Joseph Yieleh Chireh has called for the resourcing of the research department of Parliament to enable it live up to its expectation.
According t him, “Sometimes MPs are called on short notices to make statements and they have to go probing for information. When they get it wrong they are ‘fired’ all over.” He said despite the challenges MPs still deliver very good statements, which is due to the fact that they come from diverse professions.
“Let us identify what training we need so we can build our capacity and that of our staff on that. Parliament is ready to support any initiative that will strengthen the policy making process which will benefit the nation,” he stated.
Mr. Yieleh Chire was speaking at a day’s sensitization workshop for some Members and Staff of Parliament who are involved in providing support services to policy review and research as well as officers involved in interpreting policy or making policy recommendations to members of Parliament.
The workshop was facilitated by the Ghana Information Network for Knowledge Sharing (GINKS) under its project dubbed ‘Building Capacity for the Use of Research Evidence (BCURE).
GINKS’ vision is to create a platform committed to promoting, creating, and providing knowledge for all through the use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) for national development. It is basically to increase the capacity of policy makers to respond to research uptake needs.
The programme is intended to equip policy makers with the capacity to access, evaluate and use research and responds to research uptake needs in Ghana. “We will also focus on strengthening the demand for research evidence in public policy making processes,” the organizers stated.
It is hoped that the project will impact the formulation and implementation of better policies and processes as a result of increased access, evaluation, scrutiny and use of research evidence.
GINKS will work with Civil Service Training Center (CSTC) to develop a course in Evidence-Informed Policy Making (EIPM) in Ghana. As part of the project GINKS will work with Parliament to review the parliamentary support system, hold sensitization sessions with members of Parliament, form a small group of parliamentary staff identified for close monitoring and continuo’s learning, among others.
Executive Secretary of the Department of Human Development of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference at the National Catholic Secretariat, Mr Samuel Zan Akologo in a presentation observed that “Evidence-Based Policy Making has already received much impetus from the glory of its proposition and the rigor of intellectual support. However, it should not be taken hook, line and sinker in its application. Existing notions have to be unpacked and interpreted in local context. Moreover, the sense of urgency may necessitate short-term and provisional policy decision-making to save lives. Whatever policy choices we make need to be in full awareness and respect the common good at all times.”