Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has said in moving towards Ghana and Africa's new path for inclusive and sustainable economic development, it is prudent for governments and development partners to leverage on credible research outcomes to make informed decisions.
He underscored the need to use research and evaluation outcomes to implement policies that would transform and meet the needs and aspirations of the people.
Vice President Bawumia made the call at the opening of the second edition of the African Evidence to Action Conference in Accra, held on the theme, "Responsibility and Accountability: Strengthening Evidence Generation and Use of Policy Reform and. Development Agenda."
The two-day conference was jointly organised by the International Centre for Evaluation and Development, Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research and Ministry of Monitoring and Evaluation in collaboration with the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Assets and Market Access.
It brought together researchers, development professionals, policy-makers, economists and representatives of civil society organisations from 14 countries, including Ghana, Senegal, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and Tanzania.
The platform is meant to identify and discuss accountability issues and the roles the various stakeholders should play in using evidence-based research to improve the socio-economic needs of the people.
Vice President Bawumia was of the conviction that effective utilisation of research outcomes would play a pivotal role in the best cause of action and use of scarce resources towards meeting the aspirations of the people.
He noted that effective and efficient research outcomes would properly inform potential investors about opportunities available in a particular country and take decisions accordingly.
He observed that politicians have a bigger impact in determining whether research recommendations would influence decision-making, hence, his acceptance to enter into politics after initial hesitation so that he could influence government's policy direction by leveraging on research outcomes to roll out priority programmes that would improve the socio-economic well-being of the people.
He cited some digital programmes rolled out by President Akufo-Addo's government like the paperless port system, Smart driver's licensing, national health insurance renewal and business registration.
He added that the government pursued social inclusive programmes such as the Free Senior High School, One District, One Factory and Planting for Food and Jobs that affect every aspect of the people and enhance their living conditions.
Dr. David Sarfo Ameyaw, President of the International Centre for Evaluation and Development, in his welcome remarks, said it was an opportune time for African research institutions, decision-makers and development practitioners, to take the lead and responsibility for rigorous socio-economic evidence needed for policy-making that would affect the livelihoods of millions of people on the African Continent.
"It's our time. Africa's renaissance and transformation cannot be attained without knowing what works and what doesn't work.
"The presence of the Vice President of Ghana, Dr. Bawumia, Ministers and senior government officials here today, clearly shows the seriousness the government of Ghana has taken to advance the socio-economic development of Ghana.
"The President's vision of Ghana Beyond Aid will be a reality if the responsibility of generation of research and evaluation falls on our citizens and we hold ourselves accountable to the wellbeing of our communities and people," he emphasised.
Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei, the Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation, said Nana Akufo-Addo's government was committed to improving the wellbeing of all Ghanaians.
In this regard, he said the government had instituted measures to ensure that all key priority programmes are implemented in a timely and cost-effective manner. He said the conference was one of the efforts by the government to promote evidence-based decision-making and improve accountability for results.
The conference will also offer an exciting platform for renowned research and evaluation professionals, and development practitioners from national, regional and international organisations to tackle important topics such as Agriculture and Food Systems in sub-Saharan Africa, Climate Change and Environment, Agriculture Risk, Index Insurance and Risk Mitigation and Private Sector in Development.
Others impact of investment in Agriculture and Food Systems, Innovative Finance, Credit and Savings for Smallholders, Gender and Youth in Agriculture and Food Systems, Youth Employment, National and Local Governance and Accountability, Evidence Synthesis and Impact Evaluation for Policy Making, Knowledge Brokering and Knowledge Translation.
Source: Government of Ghana