Institutionalising a Rapid Evidence Synthesis Platform within the Parliament of Zimbabwe (PoZ), 2022 to date
Parliaments' actions and procedures have a more significant impact when they use evidence to guide their legislation, oversight, and representational duties. ZeipNET is assisting the PoZ, in partnership with IDInsight, in establishing and institutionalising a rapid evidence synthesis platform to improve the use of evidence by lawmakers and PoZ staff. The interventions include strengthening the ability of current PoZ structures to provide high-quality evidence to support the legislative process in an accountable and transparent manner. It is essential to identify and acknowledge the PoZ's capacity gaps and strengths to leverage in improving its evidence-use capacity. Between November 2022 and February 2023, the PoZ collaborated with IDinsight, and ZeipNET in conducting a capacity needs assessment. Access the Capacity Assessment Report here.
On June 1-2, 2023, in Harare, ZeipNET delivered capacity-building training on creating effective policy briefs. Drawing from prior interactions and the capacity needs assessment, the training programme aimed to strengthen the PoZ decision-making process by enhancing skills and knowledge and identifying alternative opportunities at the individual, institutional and broader evidence-to-policy ecosystem. The programme improved participants' knowledge and abilities in impactful writing and quick evidence synthesis. There is currently an iterative policy brief development process involving PoZ researchers, ZeipNET and IDInsight. The process encompasses generation of policy briefs by PoZ staff and reviewing by IDInsight and ZeipNET technical staff, including self-paced capacity-building sessions to improve through experiential learning. Additionally, these processes are exposing more capacity gaps that require filling to create a cohesive system that supports decision-making based on evidence. To gain access to solid evidence and produce effective policy briefs, PoZ must address several critical structural gaps. You can obtain the training report here. The lessons learnt from the capacity needs assessment is also accessible here.