Our New Summary Report is Here!


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What happens when teams of government policymakers from nine countries meet in Nairobi, Kenya to discuss using evidence to improve policy implementation?

The peer-learning exchange we hosted from July 23-25 featured sessions on the use of administrative data to inform policy implementation, how to incentivize evidence use and build an evaluative culture, and how to engage citizens in data collection, among others.

Curious about what happened in Nairobi, and what we learned? You can watch videos, download the summary report, and explore the insights here.


What to Read this Month

“When asked what helped or hindered them from applying the learning to their work, most participants with experience in government described obstacles due to the culture and leadership of the institution.”

This two-part blog series follows the partnership between MCC and the Government of El Salvador. The first installment describes the evidence workshop for policymakers held in July 2016 to discuss and promote the use of findings from evaluations of previous MCC-funded programs in the country. The second installment highlights interviews conducted with the organizers and participants, considering the impact on Salvadoran policymakers, what has changed in the last two years, and remaining challenges to evidence-informed policymaking in the country. The blogs are also cross-posted on MCC’s website.
“So the dashboard contains data about every aspect of education other than whether it is accomplishing its purpose: to teach children the skills and competencies that prepare them to be successful adults.”
Using a metaphor about a 2009 plane crash, Pritchett examines educational performance in Indonesia and India and argues that dashboards with too much information – particularly if focused on inputs without clear connections to priority outcomes – can be worse than having no dashboard at all.

“It is common knowledge within academic circles, regularly re-echoed at EIPM forums, that research produced by such institutions mostly in the form of theses and dissertations do not in any way inform policy.”
The author shares his perspective on the state of evidence-informed policymaking in Ghana, including challenges and promising opportunities to improve access to policy-relevant research and data, and the role of knowledge brokers.

“Societal inequality is exacerbated when one in five children worldwide do not complete upper primary school; understanding their motivations to drop out is crucial.”

The article describes the findings of research conducted to understand the impact of an Indian government initiative to build latrines in schools. Latrine construction positively impacted educational outcomes like enrolment, dropout rates, and number of students who appeared for and passed exams, for both boys and girls. The author’s research also shows that school sanitation only reduces gender disparities with the construction of sex-specific latrines for older age girls, while unisex latrines are mostly sufficient at younger ages.

“In short, I feel that economists need to be cautious and modest when it comes to giving policy advice, let alone getting actively involved in ‘policy design.'”
The author notes that giving advice requires more than evidence, as public policy is a reflection of values and objectives. Further, the advice one gives depends on who one advises, with economists representing one of many potential views. Additionally, giving advice requires a familiarity with the implementation of policy, which most economists do not have, and should be regarded as a political act more than a scientific one, requiring collaboration and partnership with a broad range of stakeholders.

“Information from the government, distributed by the UN in the midst of the crisis, on the other hand, was ‘completely off’, Bengtsson said.”
After negotiating legal agreements with mobile phone operators to access location data, a Swedish NGO is able to determine where people go during a crisis, which can help governments and aid agencies prepare and respond.

What to Watch

Could using video help you tell your stories, convey emotion, reach a wider audience, and help turn your research into policy impact? This webinar discusses when to create videos, where to use them to reach the target audience, whose story to tell, and how to distribute them, and includes a case study video production and dissemination plan.

What We’re Working On

Just 13 days until we leave for Pretoria, South Africa, where we’ll attend the AEN Evidence conference and present a strategy for a peer learning network to support policymakers in advancing the use of evidence in government. If you’ll be in Pretoria between September 24 and 28, let us know! We’d love to see you there.

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