Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and the African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP), have commenced a five-day Training of Trainers exercise on the Evidence-Informed Policy Making (EIPM) curriculum.
The training that is being conducted in Naivasha, runs from Monday, 25th October 2021 to Friday, 29th October, 2021, and will see experts from JKUAT equipped with the curriculum ahead of the roll-out of the training at the University early next year.
The EIDM curriculum is developed on the premise that evidence plays an invaluable role in improving policy decisions, and ensuring development efforts are optimized.
According to the curriculum’s needs assessment, there are several barriers to evidence use, including the lack or weak relationship between decision-makers and producers of evidence, weak capacity among decision-makers to find and use evidence in policy making, inappropriate packaging of evidence, among others.
The goal of the training is to strengthen the technical capacity of public policy makers in the health sector and other development initiatives in low and middle-income countries to access, appraise, interpret, and utilize research evidence in decision making.
“We are tailor-making the training for various groups and stakeholders in various thematic areas. This will ensure we cater to all the people who need to access this knowledge and improve their performance,” said AFIDEP’s Dr. Leyla Abdullahi.
Giving his opening remarks at the training on Monday, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs), Prof. Robert Kinyua, acknowledged both the AFIDEP and JKUAT teams for the comprehensive development of the EIPM curriculum. He assured them of unequivocal support from university management in seeing to the roll-out of the training as a short course.
“The education sector is currently undergoing a lot of transformation, and this couldn’t have come at a better time. Evidence-based approach is very crucial, especially at a time when as a country, we are transitioning to the Competence-based curriculum,” he added.
The EIPM curriculum has a total of seven modules, including Introduction to Public Policy, Foundation of Evidence Informed Policy Making, Accessing Evidence, Appraising Evidence, Synthesizing Evidence, Applying Evidence in Decision and Policy Making, and Monitoring and Evaluation in Decision and Policy Making.
AFIDEP’s Director of Science Communication and Evidence Uptake, Dr. Rose Oronje, speaking at the training’s opening session, expressed the need for a big movement of experts who believe in the importance of data and evidence-based decision making.
“This is crucial in the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals and interventions that will get us there. The more capacity we build, the closer we are to those goals. We believe that at the end of this week, through our partnership with JKUAT, we will incrementally take this training forward and trailblaze it in the country and the region as a whole,” she asserted.
The EIDM short course will be offered at the JKUAT Main Campus, as well as select campuses, and will target postgraduate students, professionals and technocrats in various fields.
Once unveiled, the University will effectively be a leader in the country and region as far as EIPM training is concerned.
The program’s Team Lead from JKUAT, Dr. Dennis Magu, affirms that the roll-out of the short course will add a crucial arrow to the University’s quiver of reputation as a University of Global Excellence in Training, Research and Innovation for Development.
“This program will play a significant role in supporting development blueprints that the Government of Kenya is currently implementing. Evidence, comprising research and other types of information, is a critical driver of effectiveness in development efforts,” added Dr. Magu.
Other team members present for the training included, Dr. Esther Waiganjo, Dr. Paul Njogu, Dr. Monica Karara, Ms. Anne Muthusi, and Dr. Fanon Ananda.