Just Concluded: Peer Learning Workshop on Evidence Use

Last month we hosted a workshop for teams of government policymakers from nine countries, providing a peer learning forum to share experiences, lessons, and strategies for using evidence more effectively in the implementation of social policies. You can learn about the workshop here and read our initial insights and reflections in our latest blog post.

Final Workshop Image with @#

What to Read this Month

“Administrative data can do much more than help deliver services or provide inputs for monitoring. We can use administrative data also for learning and research in humanitarian emergencies if agencies make available their data for analysis as part of an ethical, secure and deliberate strategy.”
A look at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of using administrative data in the humanitarian field. The main strength of using administrative data is that it is available immediately at no cost and can be used for research and learning. A common challenge, on the other hand, is that it can be difficult to harmonize administrative data from different sources.

“Even a cursory look at the literature shows that evidence-informed policy making is about more than merely the availability of knowledge items. You have to go beyond uploading documents on a server, to also build and use high-trust relationships.”
In addition to sharing relevant, useful and reliable knowledge via its online platform, the new South African SDG Hub aims to strengthen partnerships between policy actors and researchers and support capacity building to improve the use of evidence for SDG-relevant policymaking.

“After more than a year of executing 10-week projects, they’re starting to identify city trends, and getting results: After analyzing data on the relationship between education and income, for example, they increased federal financial aid sign-ups in the city by 10 percent.”
Made up of city residents and government workers, the Urban Data Pioneers volunteer group helps collect and analyze data on the city’s population, housing, education, and infrastructure, to advance the Tulsa mayor’s campaign promise to use data to focus on results.

“Many RFPs include some type of evidence to explain the scope of the problem the solicitation seeks to address within the country context (e.g., statistics showing low school attendance, disease prevalence rates). That makes for helpful background reading, but it doesn’t get at the crux of the matter-whether the intervention USAID is soliciting will plausibly achieve the intended outcomes. Far fewer RFPs offered evidence for this.”
A thoughtful article on how USAID – and other major development donors – could restructure bidding and procurement practices to 1) incorporate evidence into its Requests for Proposals and suggested program interventions, and 2) prioritize awarding contracts to implementing partners that use evidence to inform their proposals and program designs, and demonstrate a commitment to building the body of evidence on what works and why in global development.

Our colleagues at Results for America recently published an index showcasing how state governments are using data and evidence in budget, policy, and management decisions to achieve better outcomes for their residents. Criteria include Data Policies / Agreements, Data Use, Evaluation Resources, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Use of Evidence in Grant Programs, and Contracting for Outcomes.

What We’re Working On

We’re still processing our learnings from the peer learning workshop we hosted last month on using evidence for policy implementation, and will share more insights, reflections, and takeaways in a final report in the weeks to come. We’re also preparing a satellite session at the AEN Evidence conference in Pretoria next month, where we’ll discuss our learnings from the workshop and other activities from the past year, and present a strategy for a peer learning network to support policymakers in advancing the use of evidence in government.

Do you have comments, questions, or ideas for us? We always love hearing from you! Contact us at info@results4all.org anytime.