Consistent Analysis and Scrutiny Crucial for Policy Success

There is an increasing recognition that policies do not succeed or fail on their own merits; rather their advancement is dependent upon the process of implementation. It’s up to researchers and research journals to provide checks and balances to paramount investigative findings but what happens when bad research becomes extensively reported as the truth?

This was explained during a webinar organised by JKUAT’s Department of Research and Innovations on Wednesday, August 18, 2021, where officials from IPA had a chance to expound more on how they’ll be partnering with JKUAT and other Universities to offer training in order to explore ways of how to access funding, finances being a major barrier to effective research.

To curb this predicament, Innovation for Poverty Actions(IPA) in partnership with world-class researchers and strategic partners like Kenya Institute for Public Policy and Research and Analysis(KIPPRA), Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) have embarked on a mission to address this challenge.

Their theory of change addresses two problems, that there is limited evidence on what works to help the poor, and that the evidence that does exist is often unused by those who create and run programmes for the poor. This, according to the webinar discussions, lead to programmes that are either ineffective or not as effective as they could be, and often lead to wasted money and cause abject poverty.

“We design and run randomized evaluations to measure the effectiveness of programmes and policies aimed at helping the poor,” said IPA policy manager, Mr. John Ochieng during the webinar. “We specialize in randomized evaluations because this rigorous methodology allows us to isolate the effects of a programme from other factors,” he added.

On her part, Ms. Jemimah Okal, one of the IPA officials stated that their ultimate goal is the evidence they generate be used to improve the lives of the global poor. This means they must move from simple partnerships to an ongoing learning process.

“At IPA, we work closely with decision-makers to create evidence that helps close the gap between academia and politics throughout the life cycle of study and beyond,” she remarked. “We support our partners in improving their data and evidence capacities and provide technical assistance to scale and monitor effective programmes,” she noted.

Dr. John Kinyuru, the Director, Research and Innovation, thanked the IPA fraternity for their presentations and response to questions and encouraged JKUAT staff to engage in ideas that are mutually beneficial.

IPA is a research and policy nonprofit organization that creates and shares evidence, while equipping decision-makers to use evidence to reduce poverty. With a long-term presence in 22 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, IPA has an extensive network of more than 600 researchers implementing various research activities.

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