Evidence-informed policy-making course launched in Ghana
In an effort to equip policy makers with skills to enable them respond to sensitive request, the Ghana Information Network for Knowledge Sharing (GINKS), a non-governmental organization, together with the Civil Services Training Centre (CSTC) and the Office of the Head of Civil Service (OHCS) has launched an Evidence-Informed Policy-Making (EIPM) course in Accra yesterday. The two weeks course targets officers who inform everyday decisions of Directors and Heads of Department and officers who provide policy recommendations to government, civil servants and research, library and Clerks to committees of parliament.
The course is within the framework of the VakaYiko consortium working in Ghana, South Africa and Zimbabwe to build the capacity of policy-makers. Vaka is Shona word (South Africa) for 'build' and Yiko a Dagbani (Ghana) for 'Capacity'. Together, these words depict the specific goal of the programme, which is to increase the capacity of policy makers to respond to research needs. The project is funded by DFID under the Building Capacity for Use of research evidence (BCURE) programme.
Launching the programme at the CSTC, the Head of the Civil Service, Nana K. Dwemena Agyekum, said the issue of policy formulation was very critical if the country was to make any progress in development.
He said Ghana had attained a middle income status and that had a negative implication on resource flow. “Therefore it is imperative we formulate our policies and make our decisions in such a manner that we will not have projects dotted all over the country and then we come back and look for resources at higher rates to complete them”, he added.
Nana Agyekum was happy that the course will help participants improve their skills to function competently as far as development was concerned.
He urged the organizers (GINKS) to make the course practical in orientation, adding that the course could lose its aim if the curriculum could be found in any of the universities in the country. “Let’s have a programme or course that is also evidence based or on the needs of our people,” he said.
The Programme Manager, STAR Ghana, Mr Ibrahim Amidu Tanko, lauded the programme and said there were a lot of complaints about access to quality public goods and services but many of the complaints were more anecdotal than on evidence.
According to him, in order to improve public goods and services, particularly, in the education sector, there was the need for more rigour in the evidence that was used to make decisions.
Mr Tanko said the country did not have enough resources to carry out all the projects it would have wish to implement.
There is therefore the need to make informed choices. To utilize these limited resources, he advocated the generation of evidence to support the best options for the country.
In a presentation, the Programme Director of VaKaYiko, Ibrahim Maida Inusah, said B-CURE was focused on strengthening the demand for research evidence in public policymaking process.
He added that his outfit had already implemented a course review exercise for CSTC, developed modules 1 and 2 of EIPM course, shortlisted potential trainers for EIPM at CSTC and conducted a Training Needs Assessment (TNA) for identified trainers as part of an MoU signed with CSTC.
GINKS is a network of individuals and organizations sharing information and knowledge that facilitates capacity building for ICT use and evidence informed policy making in Ghana.
Source: ISD (Jotie N. Sule)