The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has underscored the importance of research-guided policies as a key element in delivering the needed transformation that positively affects the livelihoods of the citizenry on the African continent.
He added that the demand for Evidence to Action is just as urgent when it comes to how best to allocate resources and the sequence of policy implementation in the pursuit at the Continental Level of the Agenda 2063 of the African Union and in the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals.
“We must use research and data to ensure that images of helpless looking, desperate hungry citizens are no longer part of our evening news.”
The Vice-President made these comments when he delivered the keynote address at the 2019 Evidence to Action Conference, organised by the International Centre for Evaluation and Development, and hosted by the Ministry of Monitoring & Evaluation and the Institute of Statistical Studies & Economic Research.
He emphasised that the theme of the conference – Responsibility and Accountability: Strengthening Evidence Generation and Use in Support of Africa Policy Reform and Development Agenda – is very appropriate because with good leadership, the development of policies and practices in Africa, guided by research and evaluation findings, is what is needed to transform the lives and livelihoods of the people.
“For us in Ghana, I see the urgency of Evidence to Action at three levels. At the national level, we have the challenge of how to deliver on the vision of ‘Ghana beyond Aid’ as quickly and as effectively as possible. The vision is novel; the policy pathways are many; we must continue to fine-tune the ways and means of delivering on this vision through research and evidence.”
He noted that over the past decade, Africa has witnessed a growing interest in research and evaluation to support policymaking and development initiatives, adding that many national governments, including the Government of Ghana, are increasingly becoming aware of the critical role that research and evaluation can play in informing and shaping the development of effective policymaking, programme design, implementation and governance at national, regional, and global levels.
“I am happy to note that the current Ghana government is the first in our history and also the first Africa national government to have a full Ministry for Monitoring and Evaluation and a dedicated Cabinet Minister in charge of it. I am aware that since its inception, the ministry has been working hard to assist MDAs to implement government flagship programmes.”
He noted, for example, that Ghana’s Ministry for Evaluation’s annual colour-coded progress reports to Cabinet provides invaluable tools in tracking budget releases and aiding the acceleration of the implementation of priority projects.
Dr David Sarfo Ameyaw, President of the International Centre for Evaluation and Development, in his welcome remarks, said it was an opportune time for African research institutions, decision-makers and development practitioners to take the lead and responsibility for rigorous socio-economic evidence needed for policymaking that would affect the livelihoods of millions of people on the African continent.
“It’s our time. Africa’s renaissance and transformation cannot be attained without knowing what works and what doesn’t work.
“The presence of the Vice-President of Ghana, Dr Bawumia, Ministers and senior government officials here today clearly shows the seriousness the Government of Ghana has taken to advance the socio-economic development of Ghana.
“The President’s vision of ‘Ghana beyond Aid’ will be a reality if the responsibility of generation of research and evaluation falls on our citizens and we hold ourselves accountable to the wellbeing of our communities and people,” he emphasised.
Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, the Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation, said Nana Akufo-Addo’s government was committed to improving the wellbeing of all Ghanaians.
In this regard, he said government had instituted measures to ensure that all key priority programmes are implemented in a timely and cost-effective manner.
He said the conference was one of the efforts by government to promote evidence-based decision-making and improve accountability for results.
Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation, Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, in his address, indicated that the Nana Addo-led government has put in place measures to ensure that all the key priority projects are implemented in a cost-effective manner for the well-being of the citizens.
He added that the ministry has set up network of monitoring and evaluation focal persons in all the ministries to ensure efficiency in the delivery of government’s priority programmes.
The Minister was hopeful that the conference would further strengthen his ministry’s capacity to meet the requirements of the President and his Cabinet.
“We look forward to receiving and implementing the recommendations that this conference would bring out,” he asserted.
The conference will also offer an exciting platform for renowned research and evaluation professionals and development practitioners from national, regional and international organisations to tackle important topics such as agriculture and food systems in sub-Saharan Africa, climate change and environment, agriculture risk, index insurance and risk mitigation and private sector in development.
Others are impact of investment in agriculture and food systems, innovative finance, credit and savings for smallholders, gender and youth in agriculture and food systems, youth employment, national and local governance and accountability, evidence synthesis and impact evaluation for policymaking, knowledge brokering and knowledge translation.
Source: The Finder