VICE PRESIDENT Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has called on African governments to use research findings and recommendations in policymaking to promote economic development.
Dr. Bawumia was delivering the keynote address on Thursday, July 11, 2019, in Accra at the 2nd African Evidence To Action Conference organised by the International Centre for Evaluation and Development.
Touching on the need to find ways of ending the plight of Africans, he said, “we must use research and data to ensure that images of helpless looking, desperate, hungry citizens are no longer part of our evening news.”
He stressed that “with good leadership, the development of policies and practices in Africa guided by research and evaluation findings, is what is needed to transform the life and livelihood of our people.”
Speaking under the theme: “Responsibility and Accountability: Strengthening Evidence Generation and Use in Support of Policy Reforms and Development Agenda,” he revealed that one major challenge that African nations including Ghana have faced over the years was how to move away from evidence to action.
According to the Vice President, “the problem that we have had for many years (and this is why this conference is so, so importance) is moving from the evidence to the action.”
He mentioned that the evidence has tended to be there in many research institutes and departments of economics over the years.
However, the Vice President lamented that policymakers, have pretended not to see research findings or have not bothered to read the recommendations that have been made.
Further explaining the importance of research to policymaking, Dr. Bawumia explained that “for us in Ghana, I see the urgency of evidence 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.”
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 implementations in the pursuit at the continental level of the Agenda 2063 of the African Union; then at the global level in the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goal.”
Over the past decade, he said, Africa has witnessed a growing interest in research and evaluation to support policymaking and development initiatives.
Speaking about the Ghanaian situation, Dr. Bawumia observed the important role that research could play in achieving the vision of Ghana Beyond Aid.
He also revealed how color-coding was being used by the Ministry of Monitoring and Evaluation to evaluate key government projects being undertaken by ministries, departments and agencies.
According to him, the evaluation helped to track the progress of Government’s flagship projects nationwide.
He stressed the need for strong evidence to better inform development professionals, policymakers, the donor community and private sector investors is perhaps greatly felt at this time more than ever before.
President of the International Centre for Evaluation and Development, Dr. David Sarfo Ameyaw observed that Africa’s renaissance and transformation cannot be attained without knowing what works and doesn’t work.
BY Melvin Tarlue & Donny Morrison