VakaYiko Consortium Meets in Accra

The VakaYiko consortium, a network of non-governmental organisations, working in Ghana, South Africa, and Zimbabwe to build the capacity of policy-makers on Evidence Informed Policy Making (EIPM) is meeting in Accra.

The International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (inasp) leads the consortium of which Ghana Information Network for Knowledge Sharing (GINKS), Human Science Research Council (HSRC), Zimbabwe Evidence Informed Policy Network (ZeipNET) and Overseas Development Institute (ODI) are partners. 


The three-day meeting, being attended by 14 members of consortium, is to strengthen relationships amongst consortium partners, reflect and learn about the context the partners operate and re-think the work of the consortium as it enters its third year.


Topics being discussed at the meeting include; capacity building approaches, the role of the consortium at the interface of research and policy, evidence use in Ghana, meaning of research and evidence and understanding evidence to policy linkages.


Speaking on evidence use in policy making in Ghana, Dr Godfred Frempong, a research fellow at the Council for Scientific and industrial Research (CSIR), called for a synergy between researchers and policy makers, adding that there was the need to demystify research and policy making, since both researchers and policy makers aimed at the same goal.  


Alluding to the threat by government to ban plastic products and the pronouncements of some civil society organisations supporting or rejecting a ban without any research, Dr Frempong said research on the environmental impact as well as the socio-economic benefits of plastic could inform policy on either to ban plastic products or not.


He said researchers in Ghana needed to be proactive in correcting misinformation, especially, about the Plant Breeder’s Rights Bill and Genetically Modify Organism currently before parliament. The Plant Breeders Right (PBR) Bill is to protect intellectual property rights. It will allow commercial end-users of research products to pay royalties to the scientists and their institutions.

Dr Anthony Tsekpo, a Consultant in Development Studies, lauded Ghana for the number of platforms available on which data could be assessed. “There are quite a number of platforms where information products are available, particularly, economic data, economic information…”


Dr Tsekpo, however, wondered whether users of data and information products checked for consistencies across the various platforms. Institutions like the Bank of Ghana, Ministry of Finance and Statistical Service produce physical data sometimes with little variations.


He therefore cautioned data and information users to access data from the right sources and cross checks from institutions that produce similar data.


The three-day consortium meeting ends today.

Source: ISD (S. N. Jotie)

Created: 30 July 2015
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