Leaders of change: helping African policymakers develop their capacity to promote the use of knowledge in policy

Organised by Politics and Ideas, INASP, AFIDEP
Event type Courses
Location Online
Start date 28 March 2016
End date 15 May 2016

Through this call, Politics & Ideas, the African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP) and the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) will support, with full scholarships, the involvement of those public officials from Ghana, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe interested in promoting the use of knowledge in their organizations through their participation in this online course (limited places).

Key dates

Launch of call for applications: January 11st

Deadline for submitting proposals: March 2nd

Participant selection notification:March 16th

Course start date: March 28th

Course end date: May 15th

Course structure

The course will last seven weeks. The first week is merely introductory and will focus on participant introduction and their familiarization with the platform and facilitators. The next six weeks will be focused on the following content:


Minimum contents

Module 1. The challenge of public policy processes. The paradigm of complexity.

This module reflects on the inherent complexity of public policy processes, with a strong focus on their inherently political nature, the incentives, interests and resources that move other players and configure what the object of the debate is, on what decisions are based and how those decisions are implemented, monitored and assessed or not. It explores different public policy models and their implications on the use of evidence, as well as it identifies factors that affect its use in public institutions.

Module 2. Focus on information. Detecting possible uses and available resources.

This module devotes to the possible uses of knowledge, according to the different needs and opportunities that arise from the policy decision making process. It also approached the needs for information according to the management level, since political, strategic and operational decisions open very different windows of opportunity to incorporate knowledge. Finally,
the module goes into the advantages and disadvantages of resorting to internally and externally-generated information.

Module 3. Focus on information. Generating information
for decision making and management.

This module focuses on the different types of research than may be useful in the decision-making process, together with a series of criteria that may be helpful for assessing their usefulness
and quality. The module also approaches internal information systems and focus on monitoring and evaluation processes as tools to generate relevant information for the decision making process, and explores experiences in the institutionalization of the use of knowledge in developing countries.

Module 4. Focus on stakeholders. Identifying and relating to potential research users and interpreters.

This module acknowledges the wide variety of players who,
in different ways and according to their own interests and paradigms, may affect the use of evidence in their fields of work. It also approaches the concept of epistemic communities. The module also studies the different decision-making styles that characterize public servants in order to identify the best strategies to provide them with evidence, and explores some approaches to recognize elements that may help promote a culture of a wider use of evidence in public organizations.

Module 5. Focus on stakeholders. Effective information communication.

The last module addresses the effective communication of information of knowledge. To do so, it approaches the creation of effective messages and dynamic formats. Besides, it reflects on public policy recommendations as a format to introduce research and evidence in decision-making environments.

Workshop: Case analysis.

The last week is devoted to read, analyze and reflect on cases involving the challenges and problems that arise when seeking to use knowledge in policymaking.

In addition to the workshop in the sixth week, three webinars will take place as part of Modules 2, 4 and 6.

Who is this for?

The course is aimed at mid-level policymakers from different public institutions in Ghana, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe. In particular, those whose tasks already imply, or are interested in, informing public policy processes with knowledge, evidence, research and information.

How to apply?

The deadline to fill out the online form and send the required documentation is March 2nd, 2016.

Bear in mind that places are limited, therefore, the selection process will be competitive. Only applications from policy makers in the following countries will be considered:

Ghana, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe. To complete the application, applicants must:

  • Complete the application form: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/65YNW2N
  • Submit a resume or CV to [email protected].The application will not be considered if any of the two requirements is omitted.

    In addition, those applications that, together with the online form and CV, present a letter signed by an authority of their working area will be especially considered. The letter should state that the applicant is committed to fulfill the requirements of the course and contain a clear statement on how the organization expects to benefit / specific use of the newly acquired knowledge after the course.

 Find out more

At Politics and Ideas and download the terms of reference.