New initiative to advance evidence-informed policymaking in Africa

December 21, 2023   |   Africa (regional)

Washington, D.C. — Results for Development is coordinating a new partnership to strengthen the use of evidence in policymaking. The LEEPS initiative (Learning together to advance Evidence and Equity in Policymaking to achieve the SDGs) will start with support to 12 countries in sub-Saharan Africa to advance equitable and gender-transformative solutions for making progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.

“This is a very timely moment to work with leaders in Africa on a long-term vision for the institutionalization of evidence-informed policymaking. Complex development challenges require work across sectors and disciplines to achieve the SDGs at the country level in sub-Saharan Africa. LEEPS will represent a strong boost to the infrastructure for knowledge translation and evidence-informed policymaking in the region,” said Montasser Kamal, Director of Global Health at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

Countries are making progress in using evidence to inform policymaking. But many still face pressure to more efficiently allocate limited resources and improve how they deliver public services. Governments need evidence to address the complex challenges they face, including gender inequality and the other social inequities that undermine the well-being of citizens and slow progress towards development goals.

Building on the accomplishments of the R4D-facilitated Partnership for Evidence and Equity in Responsive Social Systems (PEERSS), LEEPS will strengthen evidence systems in Africa – including the capacity of policymakers, knowledge translators, and researchers, organizational structures (such as knowledge management platforms), and the institutional norms and incentives that motivate evidence use, with a focus on addressing gender inequality.

“We are excited about the enormous potential that LEEPS has to improve the evidence ecosystem in Africa through learning and collaboration that accelerates the spread of good practice approaches for promoting systematic use of evidence and improving lives for all – without leaving anyone behind,” said Abeba Taddese, senior program director, Evidence for Decision Making, Results for Development.

LEEPS will have two African regional hubs to lead activities — the West Africa Regional Hub will be led by the African Centre for Equitable Development (ACED), and the East Africa Regional Hub will be co-led by the Centre for Rapid Evidence Synthesis (ACRES) and the African Institute for Policy Development (AFIDEP). And R4D will serve as the coordinating organization for LEEPS, supporting communities of practice at the local, regional and global levels, and providing tailored support to hubs. The partnership is funded by Canada’s International Development Research Centre and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

To learn more about LEEPs, read the full article here.

LEEPS partners include: The African Centre for Equitable Development (ACED, Francophone Hub Lead) the African Institute for Policy Development (AFIDEP, Anglophone Hub Lead), the Centre for Rapid Evidence Synthesis (ACRES, Anglophone Hub Lead), the African Institute for Health Policy & Health Systems (AIHPHS) of Ebonyi State University, Africa Research and Impact Network (ARIN), the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI), Initiative Prospective Agricole et Rural (IPAR), Makerere University School of Gender and Women Studies, and Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Programme (MLW), Office of the President, Tanzania.


About Results for Development
Results for Development (R4D) is a leading non-profit global development partner. We collaborate with change agents — government officials, civil society leaders and social innovators — supporting them as they navigate complex change processes to achieve large-scale, equitable outcomes in health, education and nutrition. We work with country leaders to diagnose challenges, co-create, innovate and implement solutions built on evidence and diverse stakeholder input, and engage in learning to adapt, iterate and improve. We also strengthen global, regional and country ecosystems to support country leaders with expertise, evidence, and innovations. R4D helps country leaders solve their immediate challenges today, while also strengthening systems and institutions to address tomorrow’s challenges. And we share what we learn so others around the world can achieve results for development too.

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