What to Read this Month

Over the last year, our work at Results for All has focused on exploring how to facilitate opportunities for government policymakers to share knowledge, experiences, and lessons learned in accelerating the use of evidence to inform policy. Here we distill our observations into 7 key insights and principles for peer-to-peer learning for government. Do you agree? What’s missing? Please reply to this email or comment on the blog to share your thoughts!

“The findings suggest that, while national trends may be useful for regional and global policy advocacy, they can also be misleading.”
While Kenya has made remarkable progress in reducing child mortality, none of its 47 counties achieved their MDG goals for child mortality. The article highlights research findings that show how national aggregate levels of child mortality in Kenya mask county-level progress. The authors note the importance of setting county-specific targets and collecting data at the subnational level to better achieve and monitor progress in achieving development goals.

“Technology and digital advancements provide new sources of data that are invaluable for sustainable development, but we can only take full advantage of these opportunities if core data systems are working well.”
Too many poor people are invisible in the data and numbers that inform government decisions; investing in new data sources and collection systems is essential for policymakers to allocate resources to the people who need them.

“Based on my experiences [with this] there are seven types of policy makers, and knowing your counterpart’s type might be helpful in figuring out how to pitch your discussion.”
The author suggests that by understanding the type of policymaker they are engaging with, researchers can better tailor their approach to meet policymakers where they are, and offers 7 aspects of policymakers to consider in discussions.

“Studies to date suggest that encouraging evidence-based policymaking approaches that move beyond merely valuing evidence to actually investing in tools and personnel to reconfigure existing routines and practices are likely to yield practices that more consistently map to the evidence and yield better outcomes.”
While government policies and designated funds that incentivize evidence-based programs are helpful, they do not by themselves cultivate the right conditions for evidence to be used systematically to inform government decisions; instead, the author explains that skills, infrastructure, relationships, and trust are essential.

The guide shows how state and local governments are creating stronger, results-focused partnerships that produce meaningful and sustainable outcomes for communities in need. To see some of these recommendations in action, watch this new video featuring the Best Starts for Kids initiative from Washington State, USA and its community-focused contracting strategies to improve equity and outcomes for children and families.

Evidence Champion of the Month: Mapula Tshangela
Director of Climate Change Mitigation Sector Plan Implementation
Department of Environmental Affairs of South Africa



The South African Constitution requires that the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) ensure the right to an environment that is not harmful to the health and well-being of South Africans, in part by mitigating climate change, promoting conservation and biodiversity, and securing ecologically sustainable development and natural resource use. To achieve these diverse and challenging objectives, DEA has built strong partnerships with research entities and strategically invested in generating science and evidence relevant to the environment sector and to both short-term and long-term DEA priorities.

Ms. Tshangela has been at the forefront of this effort, for example, working with colleagues toincorporate new indicators in annual staff performance plans that explicitly link evidence production and use with policy development. In her current role, she is exploring the evidence in climate change mitigation and related action plans by local government and the private sector, together with colleagues from government and academia. “Forming and sustaining trans-disciplinary partnerships such as these has always been key to our efforts to intentional prioritization, gathering, and use of evidence,” she says. Tshangela has a background in chemistry, and symbolically wears a lab coat to work every day to demonstrate the importance of using evidence in climate policy design and implementation.

“Policy implementation change may take a decade or more,
but we can always go back to the evidence we used systematically
and documented to learn from our past decisions.”

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