The second African Evidence to Action (E2A) conference opened in Accra yesterday on the theme: ‘Responsibility and accountability: Strengthening evidence generation and use in support of policy reform and development agenda.’
The conference is aimed at identifying and discussing accountability and the responsibilities of stakeholders such as government institutions, policy makers, development professionals, researchers and evaluators in the use of evidence to improve development impacts.
It was organised by the International Centre for Evaluation and Development (ICED), the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), the Ministry of Monitoring and Evaluation, Office of the President and the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Assets and Market Access.
Some of the participants included evaluation and monitoring professionals from Kenya, Uganda, Benin, Malawi, Senegal, Zambia, Madagascar, South Africa and Nigeria.
Prior to the official opening, the conference was kicked off with a two pre-workshop sessions to focus on identifying ways of generating and using evidence to tackle development issues in Ghana and Africa at large.
In a keynote address, the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, said governments and development partners needed credible evidence to inform policy and decision-making process.
He said credible evidence was the tool to move Africa towards a new path to attaining an inclusive and sustainable economic growth and development agenda.
The Vice President, who is the Head of the Economic Management Team, said it was a heart-warming strategic choice for ICED to decide on Ghana to locate an office which could create an exciting platform for learning and sharing across countries and continents.
He added that it was a clear indication of the confidence that regional players have in Ghana.
According to him, it was equally commendable that ICED would deploy its human resource base to combine research and innovation, coupled with extensive practical experience in evaluating which would inure to accelerated development in Africa.
Dr Bawumia noted that in collaborating with the Ministry of Monitoring and Evaluation, it was hoped that the value of monitoring and evaluating government policies and programmes would be enhanced for accelerated development agenda, especially in reaching the goal of “Ghana beyond Aid” agenda.
The Minister of Monitoring and Evaluation, Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, said the issue at stake was not about politics since it was about the result and impact of government interventions which directly affected the people.
According to him, it was through the monitoring and evaluation of projects, programmes and policies that could provide the platform for evidence gathering so that decisions would reflect on the true situation on the ground.
He said the government was committed to improving the well-being of the people by putting measures in place to monitor and evaluate all the key priority programmes so that the cost of implementation would be timely and cost effective.
Dr Osei said his ministry had established a network of monitoring and evaluation focal persons in all the ministries under committees chaired by deputy ministers in order to focus on 17 high priority programmes so that the needed targets were achieved.
Dr David Sarfo Ameyaw, Chief Executive Officer of ICED said it was time for African research institutions, decision makers and development practitioners to take leadership which involved responsibility and accountability in this generation of religious socio-economic evidence needed for policy making and legislation that affected the livelihood of millions of people on the continent.
He said Africa’s renaissance and transformation could not be attained without knowing what works and did not work for the continent, adding that, the country’s vision ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ would be a reality if the responsibility of generation of research and evaluation became the citizen’s responsibility to hold duty bearers accountable to their well-being.
BY LAWRENCE MARKWEI AND CEPHAS ADJEI KLU