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Strengthening the Use of Evidence for Development Impact

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Claire Hutchings

Strengthening the Use of Evidence for Development Impact (SEDI) is a five-year programme (2019-24) that is working on increasing the use of evidence by policy makers in Uganda, Ghana, and Pakistan. In partnership with country governments, this programme aims to develop capacity and promote innovation in increasing evidence-informed decision making. SEDI is funded by UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

The challenge

SEDI builds on the lessons learned from DFID’s Building Capacity to Use Research programme (BCURE) in 2013-2017, which recognised that the generation of research alone is insufficient to ensure that policies are informed by evidence. The BCURE experience highlighted the often limited demand for, and use of, evidence in policymaking processes and identified a number of key constraints that need to be addressed to improve this. These included political economy factors, evidence accessibility, individual and organisational capacity, as well as incentives. SEDI offers an opportunity to examine these constraints and design, pilot, and test possible approaches for addressing them.

Our approach

Based on the shared value of co-creation, this multi-country partnership draws on the wealth of expertise and experience of multiple organisations. SEDI is working with policymakers and other key stakeholders to design, pilot, and implement interventions in a politically informed, demand driven and equity responsive manner. We are currently working with our government partners to support them in using evidence to inform covid-19 response efforts.

Outcomes and wider impact

SEDI seeks to:

  1. increase the instrumental use of evidence to directly inform policy or programme decisions taken by country governments
  2. increase the embedded use of evidence in processes, systems, and the working culture of governments.

About the SEDI consortium

The SEDI consortium is led by Oxford Policy Management and comprises national, international, and regional partners. The national lead organisations - Sustainable Development Policy Institution in Pakistan, Economic Policy Research Centre in Uganda, and Africa Centre for Economic Transformation in Ghana - provide programme leadership and coordination in each country. These national organisations are authoritative voices in policy processes and will ensure effective engagement and a sustainable legacy for SEDI.

The international partners – INASP, Oxford Policy Management, Overseas Development Institute, and 3ie – as well as the regional partners – African Institute for Development Policy and Africa Centre for Evidence –contribute their knowledge and years of experience in working with governments across the world to promote evidence informed development. They provide technical thought partnership, facilitate cross-country learning, and collaborate on programme delivery.

Areas of expertise