Dear Colleagues, 

Welcome to the November 2021 edition of the Partnership for Evidence and Equity in Responsive Social Systems (PEERSS) newsletter.

In this edition of the newsletter, we share efforts to strengthen evidence-use by parliamentarians from the African Institute for Health Policy & Health Systems and highlights from Africa Evidence Week 2021 from the Africa Center for Evidence. We also feature several events that PEERSS partners contributed to recently, and a newly published resource by the Unit of Evidence and Deliberation for Decision Making in Colombia.

We are taking a break in December for the holidays and look forward to sharing more news and highlights from PEERSS beginning in January 2022. In the meantime, please share the newsletter with your networks and encourage them to subscribe here. You can also follow us on Twitter for exciting updates on the partnership. 


PEERSS’ Coordinating Organization (Results for Development)


Building an Evidence Rapid Response unit in parliament: Three early insights from the African Institute for Health Policy and Systems in Nigeria

Nigeria has three branches of government – executive, legislature (national parliament comprising Senate and House of Representatives) and judiciary. It also has three levels of governance – federal, state, and local. While the executive branch is the most front and center branch of government, its decisions, policies, and actions are most effective when upheld by laws enacted by the legislature. Given that the laws parliament makes are used to steer the nation’s development, it is imperative that they are guided by quality and context-relevant evidence. A critical gap in stakeholder engagement activities in the legislative branch, to support synthesis and contextualization of evidence, led the African Institute for Health Policy and Systems in Nigeria to establish the Evidence Rapid Response Services in Nigeria’s national parliament. Please click here to read more.
Celebrating initiatives across Africa supporting the use of evidence in decision-making

Since COVID -19, virtual meetings have become a norm. One has had to orient oneself with the different online platforms that transport you to these virtual spaces. Although sometimes it might be tiring jumping from one platform to another, the convenience of it is that there are no area code boundaries that prevent us from meeting one another from anywhere in the world. That is why the virtual Africa Evidence Week (AfEW) festival is a virtual winner; this social-media based event connects people from all over the world with no travel cost. This year, the Africa Evidence Network (AEN) hosted the second biennial AfEW on 13-17 September 2021. It was a weeklong celebration that showcased and promoted the state of evidence-informed decision-making (EIDM) in Africa, specifically highlighting the involvement of decision-makers. Please click here to read more. 
PEERSS Partners in Action

Evidence Capacities Webinar
November 17, 2021

The Africa Evidence Network (AEN) held its third #EvidenceCapacitiesWebinar on Wednesday, November 17, 2021. During the webinar, key stakeholders, including the Africa Center for Evidence, engaged in discussions on how to promote capacity development aimed at system-level change in/for evidence use. Please click here to view the recording.

WHO Global Evidence-to-Policy (E2P) Summit
November 15-17, 2021

The WHO Global Evidence-to-Policy (E2P) Summit brought together global experts and stakeholders to determine the state and perspectives of evidence-informed health policy- and decision-making beyond the pandemic. 

On November 16th, the Africa Center for Evidence (ACE) in South Africa and the Knowledge to Policy Center (K2P) in Lebanon participated in a session titled “Institutionalizing‌ ‌evidence-informed‌ ‌decision-making‌ ‌for‌ ‌effective‌ ‌health‌ ‌policy‌” that explored the following questions:

  • What EIPM tools, mechanisms and governance structures countries developed or improved during the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • What were countries’ contributions to more resilient health systems?
  • To what extent have the successes and failures of evidence use during COVID-19 led to longer-term reflection, consideration and even more embedded or more routine use of evidence in policy-making?
Innovation Week 2021
November 9-12, 2021
Innovation Week 2021, themed "Dare to Transform", took place from November 9 to 12 and aimed to promote the discussion of ideas, the exchange of experiences, and a disruptive mindset in Public Administration.

On November 10th, the Africa Center for Evidence (ACE) and Instituto Veredas participated in a round table discussion titled "Insights to Strengthen Collaborative Research Networks" that brought together policymakers, researchers, experts and representatives of national and international institutions in the field of Evidence-Informed Policymaking, and representatives of civil society who are part of the Evidence-informed Policy Network (EVIPNet) in Brazil or who are interested in establishing Evidence Centers. During the session, stakeholders discussed practical insights for strengthening collaborative research networks to identify how they could contribute to the work of the Brazilian EVIPNet.

Instituto Veredas also participated in a session titled "Career and Skills in Evidence-Informed Policy" that brought key stakeholders together (e.g., policymakers, researchers, civil society representatives) to discuss the challenges and opportunities in working with evidence and policy, how to plan and manage a career in this area, how to retain talent, and the new skills that are needed to advance the field. 
Recent Publications
Unit of Evidence and Deliberation for Decision Making | Colombia

The Unit of Evidence and Deliberation for Decision Making in Colombia recently published a rapid review on the intersection of Artificial Intelligence and the COVID-19 pandemic. Please click here to view the resource.

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