Who should attend?
All those interested in evidence, its production and use in decision-making. This includes people working in Africa and beyond, in governments, civil society, universities and the private sector.
Evidence 2018 aims to encourage, promote and showcase evidence-informed decision-making (EIDM) in Africa, thereby contributing to the development of effective public policies and efficient implementation of services, as well as joint learning on interventions that tackle poverty and equality. Together we will tackle some of the biggest priority areas facing the continent, identifying and unpacking evidence-informed solutions.
The objectives of the conference include the following:
- To grow our understanding of this important field by sharing learning and advancing discussions in how best to support evidence-informed decision-making in Africa;
- To increase engagement across the Africa Evidence Network and broader community, spanning the many divides that prevent scientists and decision-makers from working together, building relationships and moving forwards to our shared benefit; and
- To situate our evidence community as a global player in, and umbrella body for, evidence-informed decision-making in Africa.
Background to the Africa Evidence Network and the Evidence conferences
The Network was conceived in December 2012 following the 3ie/Campbell Collaboration’s colloquium in Dhaka, Bangladesh. At this colloquium, a number of African delegates from various systematic review and evidence-informed decision-making (EIDM) organisations had a meeting at which they agreed to form a network with the purpose of sharing information, experiences and ideas on EIDM. The AEN thus is a community of people, including researchers, practitioners and policy-makers from universities, civil society and government who work in Africa and have an interest in evidence, its production and use in decision-making. The Network is currently supported by the Hewlett Foundation and the Secretariat is hosted at the University of Johannesburg’s Africa Centre for Evidence (ACE).
The aim of the Network is to link people and activities across various initiatives, organizations and fields working to produce and use better evidence in Africa. Currently, our membership is free and has reached over 1 300 members. This brings opportunities for networking and knowledge sharing in the evidence-informed decision-making (EIDM) field. The activities undertaken by the AEN are all focused on facilitating a connection between EIDM practitioners within Africa, and with the world of EIDM internationally.
In November 2014 (25-28 November 2014), the AEN hosted its first colloquium in Johannesburg which brought together the EIDM community from the African continent and beyond. It served to pay testimony to the growing appetite and demand for evidence and to connect producers and users of such evidence. In general, the objectives of the colloquium included sharing lessons learnt and advancing discussions in supporting EIDM in Africa; increasing engagement across AEN membership and building relations with relevant institutions and professionals in EIDM; and situating the AEN as a key player in, and umbrella body for EIDM in Africa. Since then, the AEN successfully hosted a follow-up conference, EVIDENCE 2016, from 20 – 22 September at the CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria.