Learning Together to Advance Evidence and Equity in Policymaking to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (LEEPS)

The 2022 progress report on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) shows that African countries have made some progress but are off-track to meet most of the goals. Even though the SDGs aspire to leave no one behind, the report urges deliberate policies to accelerate progress towards realising the SDGs by 2030.  

Evidence is critical in accelerating development progress, including informing policy and intervention choices and design, tracking and improving policy implementation, assessing impact and ensuring no one is left behind. Yet, evidence-informed policymaking (EIP), or the systematic use of evidence in policymaking remains sub-optimal in many countries. For EIP to be a norm, individuals who value the use of evidence in decision-making and have knowledge translation skills, need well-structured and funded systems with institutional mechanisms that facilitate access, appraisal, synthesis, adaptation and application of evidence in decision-making.   

Knowledge translation (KT) capacity is not widespread. Similarly, institutional systems and structures lack or have weak mechanisms and tools for promoting and entrenching an evidence use culture. Capacities and mechanisms for centring equity in policymaking are also weak or lacking. For Africa to accelerate SDGs’ progress, concerted, long-term efforts are needed to strengthen countries’ institutional and individual EIP capacity.   

To contribute to addressing these EIP challenges hampering Africa’s SDGs progress, the African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP), a global leader in evidence-informed decision-making (EIDM), is partnering with other African institutions to co-lead a hub advancing evidence and equity in policymaking in Anglophone Africa. The Anglophone Learning Together to Advance Evidence and Equity in Policymaking to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (LEEPS) Hub will strengthen national and regional EIP ecosystems and individual organisations driving EIP in countries towards improving EIDM.  

The Anglophone Hub is part of the broader LEEPS initiative. The other co-lead of Anglophone Hub is The Centre for Rapid Evidence Synthesis (ACRES). African Centre for Equitable Development (ACED) leads the West Africa Regional Hub. R4D (Results for Development) fosters knowledge exchange and learning across the partnership. Support for the initiative comes from International Development Research Centre (IDRC), William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH. 

The Anglophone Learning Together to Advance Evidence and Equity in Policymaking to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (LEEPS) Hub will design and implement interventions that develop knowledge translation (KT) capacities and institutionalise EIP in all sectors, including reproductive health (RH) and clean energy. These interventions will mainstream gender equity to promote gender-responsive social policies, inclusion, and wellbeing.  

Partners will work in phases to grow the Anglophone LEEPS Hub as a centre of excellence for strengthening KT approaches and institutionalising EIP. The Anglophone Hub will prioritise reproductive health (RH) and clean energy issues in the initial two-year period. These two issues provide a huge opportunity to contribute to reducing gender inequalities. In subsequent years, the Hub’s work will extend to other development issues and sectors. 

 During the first phase covering the initial two years of the initiative, the AFIDEP-led consortium will work in two cohort countries, namely Kenya and Nigeria. Kenya is a leader in the clean energy space in Africa, having set some ambitious targets. Nigeria has notable political influence in the West Africa subregion, which provides opportunity for subregional influence through ECOWAS platforms. Through the ARIN network, the Hub will work beyond these two countries and extend its work across Africa. The Hub will also implement regional-level interventions, leveraging the partners’ own regional platforms and those hosted by other stakeholders. 

The primary outcome of the Anglophone LEEPS Hub is to realise evidence-informed policy and learning for equitable sustainable development in Africa.  

The Hub’s interventions will seek to achieve this outcome by:  

  • Strengthening individual and institutional evidence-informed policymaking (EIP) technical capacity at local and national levels to enhance decision-making in policy and programmes through: 
  • training and mentorship in country partner institutions/structures 
  • small grants and technical assistance to design and institutionalise EIP
  • (virtual) masterclasses on knowledge translation (KT) open to policymakers and researchers  
  • standardising and promoting uptake of EIP tools developed by the Hub 
  • supporting training institutions in Africa to introduce KT courses.
  • Integrating gender equity in EIP processes in beneficiary government agencies and other institutions through 
  • mobilising gender experts’ involvement in EIP efforts 
  • providing technical assistance during the design and implementation of EIP programmes 
  • including gender equity in the training manuals in our existing KT/EIP curricula
  • facilitating vibrant EIP networks to promote evidence and gender equity in policymaking, as well as foster learning communities of practice (CoPs) through:  
  • hosting an EIP convening to shape the continent’s agenda on the issue, including centering gender equity in EIP 
  • instituting an annual evidence leaders award 
  • having quarterly webinar series and e-newsletters to share EIP experiences and lessons 
  • publishing reports and scientific papers based on the Hub’s activities 


African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP). As co-lead of the Anglophone LEEPS Hub, provides the strategic direction for the Hub, including the design and implementation of the Hub’s strategy.  

African Institute for Health Policy and Health Systems (AIHPHS). AIHPHS, based in Nigeria, leads the implementation of the West African subregional initiatives. 

Africa Research and Impact Network (ARIN). The ARIN network extends the Anglophone LEEPS Hub’s EIP initiatives beyond the two initial cohort countries through knowledge translation (KT) training and mentorship to ARIN fellows across Africa. 

School of Women and Gender Studies (SWGS) at Makerere University. SWGS leads the Hub’s efforts to integrate gender equity in all its interventions. 

Key Details

Dates: to Present

LEEPs  aim to strengthen national and regional EIP ecosystems and individual organisations driving EIP in countries towards improving EIDM. 

Where: Africa , Benin , Botswana , Eritrea , eSwatini , Ethiopia , Ghana , Kenya , Liberia , Malawi , Mauritius , Namibia , Nigeria , Rwanda , Seychelles , Sierra Leone , South Africa , South Sudan , Tanzania , The Gambia , Uganda , Zambia , Zimbabwe
Project Director:Rose Oronje, Ph.D
Project Manager:Sandra Yvonne Oketch
Principal Investigator:Violet Murunga, Ph.D

Related Events

No Related Events found