There is extensive evidence to demonstrate that development research, done effectively, can improve public policy and help accelerate development progress. However, experience also indicates that in many African countries data, evidence and analysis fail to significantly inform public policy processes. In such cases, how best can researchers, policy makers and other stakeholders bring timely, relevant, and reliable new knowledge to bear on policy decisions in Africa?

To help answer this question, the Think Tank Initiative (TTI) is convening, in collaboration with the Mastercard Foundation, an African Evidence Informed Policy Forum on March 6th and 7th at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya. This event seeks to understand how different actors engaged in evidence to policy processes in African contexts are working towards creating a culture of practice and use of social and economic evidence, data and analysis in policymaking.

Over nearly a decade, TTI has demonstrated that think tanks can, and do, influence policies and practice in the global South. Lessons drawn from this experience are now leading to new forms of engagement with a range of policy research organisations, networks and collectives in Africa as momentum for evidence informed policymaking builds on the continent.

Throughout the two days, participants will develop a shared understanding of the evidence informed landscape in Africa, identify good practices and challenges that help shape these landscapes and explore ideas for strengthening strategic partnerships to generate, share and use high quality evidence to support informed decision making.

The forum will bring together representatives of think tanks, donors, policymakers, young researchers, civil society, private sector, and other relevant stakeholders. The event will be attended by high-level individuals and a number of representatives from the governments of Kenya, Niger, South Africa, Uganda and Senegal will participate to the event and sit on panel discussions.

You can learn more about the event by visiting and following #AfricaEvidence and @TTI_ITT on Twitter before and during the event.

About the Think Tank Initiative

The Think Tank Initiative is helping to strengthen 43 policy research institutions in 20 developing countries over 10 years through a mix of core funding and support for capacity development. The result: these organizations are better positioned to deliver high quality research, operate more sustainably, and engage meaningfully with key stakeholders. Follow the initiative at @TTI_ITT on Twitter.

About the Mastercard Foundation

The Mastercard Foundation works with visionary organizations to provide greater access to education, skills training and financial services for people living in poverty, primarily in Africa. As one of the largest private foundations, its work is guided by its mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. Based in Toronto, its independence was established by Mastercard when the Foundation was created in 2006. For more information, please visit Follow the Foundation at @MastercardFdn on Twitter.