AFIDEP conducts training for Parliament Staff from across Africa on evidence use
8 July 2016
Author: Dr Rose Oronje
Parliament staff deliberate the course material at the training in Munyonyo, Uganda in June.

AFIDEP conducted a training workshop for more than 15 parliament staff from 10 African countries on evidence-informed decision-making (EIDM) on June 27-28, 2016 in Munyonyo, Uganda. The parliamentary staff included researchers and clerks who support parliamentary health committees. These staff provide committees with briefings on issues to inform their debates and decisions, and therefore play a crucial role in the ecosystem of evidence use in parliament.

The workshop equipped the parliamentary researchers and clerks with knowledge and skills in: the critical place of evidence in the legislature; knowledge of where and how to effectively search for evidence, assess its quality, and synthesize and package it appropriately for use by MPs.

Some of the parliament staff who benefited from the training had these to say:

“Initially, I did not understand what this training was trying to achieve. But now I wonder why I did not get this training when I joined parliament? Because this training is so critical to my work and it will change the way I prepare briefs for MPs. In fact, I think this kind of training needs to be offered in our universities because every graduate leaving university needs to have these critical skills.” Workshop participant from Zimbabwe.

“There is a big gap in our parliament in the Gambia on these kinds of skills. I’ve been trained here and this training will benefit my work in providing MPs with evidence, but we need to have more staff in the parliament trained in this area for this to have more impact and improve the decisions made by the health committee.” Workshop participant from the Gambia.

The two-day workshop was a pre-forum event to the annual forum of the Network for African Parliamentary Committees on Health (NEAPACOH) held on June 29-30, 2016. The NEAPACOH forum was supported through a collaboration of the Partners in Population and Development Africa Regional Office (PPD-ARO) and AFIDEP, among other partners. AFIDEP’s programme supporting this workshop is funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

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