Evidence 2023

Evidence 2023 was a three-day conference organized by the Africa Evidence Network (AEN) to facilitate engagement, broker understanding, and support impact of evidence-Informed decision making (EIDM) in Africa. Members of civil society, government, academia, and other development institutions will convene to push forward the agenda of reducing poverty and inequality in Africa through the support of EIDM.

Start Date: 13 September 2023 End Date: 15 September 2023

The objective of this conference was to:

  • Bring together the Pan-African community for learning, sharing, and relationship-building
  • Provide an opportunity for connection and collaboration to enhance mutual learning and the development of new ideas about supporting EIDM.
  • Build content for EIDM practice.
  • Provide opportunities to share EIDM practice experiences of different experts in the community.

See the full program

3ie at #Evidence2023

3ie will be hosting and participating in several panel sessions at the conference.

Day 1 |13 September

Session 3: Celebrating the Africa Evidence Network: Why relationships matter

2:15 PM - 3:15 PM

This high-powered women panel discussed how essential it is for evidence-informed policymaking experts to form alliances. This panel focussed on how understanding the engagement strategies of influential policy actors, and how strategically established networks with a diverse group of policy actors can help effectively frame and communicate evidence.


  • Siziwe Ngcwabe, Director and Co-Chair, Africa Evidence Network (Chair)
  • Marie Gaarder, Executive Director, 3ie
  • Rosetti Nayanga, CEO of AfrEA
  • Ruth Stewart, Founding Chairperson, AEN and Honorary Professor, UCL.
  • Rhona Mijumbi-Deve, Head, Policy Unit, Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Program and Co-Chair, AEN

Session 5: Institutionalizing evidence use: sharing lessons and future directions

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Experience and research on knowledge translation activities have highlighted that simply improving the availability and accessibility of evidence is not sufficient for evidence to be used. It is increasingly recognized that to achieve widespread and sustainable use of evidence there is a need to institutionalize evidence use by addressing systemic barriers through structures and processes that facilitate and encourage a culture of evidence use. This panel brought together researchers, knowledge brokers, and decision-makers dedicated to closing the gap between evidence and decision-making with the goal of identifying emerging lessons and directions for an evidence-informed approach to institutionalizing evidence use.


  • Marie Gaarder, Executive Director, International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie)
  • Candice Morkel, Director, Centre for Learning on Evaluation and Results - Anglophone Africa (CLEAR-AA)
  • Tanja Kuchenmuller, Unit Head, Evidence to Policy and Impact, Research for Health Department, Science Division, World Health Organization  
  • Mr Godfrey Mashamba, Deputy Director General for planning and M&E, Department for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, South Africa.
  • Rose N. Oronje, Director of Public Policy and Knowledge Translation, and Head of Kenya Office, African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP)
  • Rhona Mijumbi, Head of the Policy Unit at the Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Programme (MLW)

Day 2 | 14 September

Session 9 and 11: The Localisation Agenda Part A and B

12:00 PM- 1:00 PM
This panel brought together key funders and EIDM practitioners from the South to discuss and share perspectives on how to advance the 'localization' agenda and ensure substantive southern ownership. This session aims to unpack the challenges and possible solutions in the localization agenda through debate with both funders and LMIC organizations.


  • Birte Sniltsveit, Director – Synthesis and Reviews and Head of London office, 3ie (co-chair)
  • Harsha Dayal, Director of Research & Knowledge Management, Department of Planning, Monitoring & Evaluation, South Africa (co-chair)
  • Sajilu Kamwenda, Mastercard Foundation
  • Chris Chibwana, Hewlett Foundation

Session 15: Evidence on Demand: What makes evidence services responsive to policy needs

3:45 PM - 5:00 PM

This panel showcased the potential of Responsive Evidence Services (RES) (including help desks) as an effective mechanism to support policymakers’ evidence use. It featured three embedded pairs of providers and users of responsive evidence services: WACIE which is providing RES to the Benin government; ACRES which is providing RES to the Ugandan government; and SACE which is providing RES to the South African government. Each group will be represented by a government official and provider of RES, who will jointly introduce their work to the audience.


  • Thomas Kelly: Director – Evidence for Policy and Learning (Chair)
  • Ismael Kawooya:  Research Scientist and coordinator at The Center for Rapid Evidence Synthesis (ACRES)
  • Deo-Gracias Houndolo, Regional Coordinator, West African Capacity Building and Impact Evaluation Program (WACIE), 3ie  
  • Harsha Dayal: Director of Research & Knowledge Management, Department of Planning, Monitoring & Evaluation, Government of South Africa
  • Laurenz Mahlanza-Langer, Executive Director, South Africa Centre for Evidence