Capacity-building interventions aimed at building both demand for, and supply of, evidence have emerged as crucial tools for the promotion of evidence-based policy-making (EBPM), with practitioners agreeing on the necessity to balance the dominance of supply-driven approaches with complementary activities to strengthen the capacity and motivation of policy-makers to understand and use research evidence for policy-making.
Study toursStudy tours provide a unique opportunity for policy-makers to explore how pro-poor policies and projects have been conceptualised and implemented within South Africa, as well as their development impact, through the experiences of countries with comparable contexts.
Sharing of experiences provides fresh perspectives on the potential implementation options for South African pro-poor policies and projects and the required systems and mechanisms to ensure provision of services that reach the poor.
Some of the study tours that have taken place over the course of the PSPPD include:
• Study tour on early childhood development (ECD), Sweden, 2015
• Study tour on small business development, United Kingdom, 2016
• Study tour on violence against women and children (VAWC), Uganda, 2017
How to write policy briefsThe policy brief writing workshop series was launched in cognisance of a skills-gap among researchers on how to construct and evaluate an effective policy brief. The workshops target researchers from government as well as grantees to build their capacity to craft policy briefs as a tool to engage government officials.
The workshops aim to help participants understand the value of research in policy-making and the value of a policy brief and its structure, and gain practical skills on how to evaluate and write an effective policy brief.
The workshops are made up of two main components: a theoretical lecture on the basic aspects of a policy brief, and a practical session which involves applying the theory to policy brief evaluating and writing exercises. Throughout the workshops, care is taken to contextualise the components to South Africa to help researchers grasp how applicable the theory is to their own context.
Executive course on EBPMThe Programme’s flagship executive course on EBPM was designed to provide learning opportunities for strategic leaders and top managers, from director general to chief director level, to build an understanding of how evidence can be used to make decisions about policies, programmes, services, and budgets – and ultimately improve the performance of government departments.
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Executive course on poverty and inequalityThis five-day course aims to assist senior government officials and policy-makers to better understand how their work fits into a broader context and what levers they are able to use to begin to effectively respond to poverty as well as inequality in South Africa.