By Joyce Boahemaa Fosu
Development Impact West Africa (DIWA), a research centre at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, GIMPA, has held a two-day impact summit at the Greenhill campus of the Institute.
The summit which was in collaboration with the Centre for Effective Global Action (CEGA), UC Berkeley, and funded by the Hewlett Foundation, was on the theme: ‘Research to Policy Translation in West Africa.’
The event brought together researchers, academia, and policy analysts. It aimed at evaluating some government flagship programmes such as the Free Senior High School Education Policy, MASLOC, and the One District, One Factory programme, among many others.
Chairing the programme, Prof. Samuel Kwaku Bonsu, the Rector of GIMPA, lauded DIWA and its stakeholders for putting together the summit to build local research to help inform government policies and decisions.
He further called for the need for resources to enable the evaluation of other flagship programmes in the country and West Africa at large.
Prof. Bonsu again urged government and other stakeholders to support and invest in the activities of institutions to bridge the gap between university research and policy decision making.
Delivering the keynote address, the Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Prof. George Gyan-Baffour stressed the need for an effective Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) regime to serve as a corrective mechanism to guide future actions.
This, he indicated, would ensure that objective performance standards were equalised with actual observed performance to minimise deviation, and also enhance value for money. ‘It will help achieve the realisation of the desired national development effort,’ he added.
On his part, the Programme Director of DIWA, Prof. Charles Teye Amoatey stated that the findings of the evaluation on the programmes would provide policy advice to government to determine which programmes were effective and which ones needed reforms.
He said DIWA was established in in 2019 to support West African governments to use credible and transparent evidence to inform policy decisions.
‘The goal is to build capacities among researchers of universities with skills to conduct research on government programmes and boost demand for rigorous evidence as a tool for improved policy making,’ he added.
According to Prof. Amoatey, DIWA, has since its establishment, trained many researchers from academic institutions in Ghana and other West African countries.
Also present at the summit was Ms. Maya Ranganath, the Associate Director, CEGA, UC Berkeley, and Ousseynou Ngom, Programme Officer, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
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