While these lead papers and related links to background material provide critical insights to improve our understanding and decision-making capability; there is a concern as to what extent researchers, policymakers, development practitioners etc. are continuously engaged in gathering data, generating evidence and making various pronouncements, without adequate follow-up. Available information suggests that once this is done, new research projects and further dialogues are launched for gathering even more evidence.
The article “What counts as good evidence?” which features cases from the health sector is interesting and thought provoking. It discusses “good evidence”, highlights the different needs of policymakers and decision makers for evidence and notes that achieving overall consensus is an unreasonable goal. However, should this restrict us from acting on available evidence and implementation. The ensuing article on “How can universities influence development policy?” is also instructive and the suggested strategy for universities to work with public officials to improve implementation, provides a way forward for achieving impact from investments in research.
As you read all the other interesting items that we have selected, for example, on the Ghanaian scientist who designed a computer programme that combines satellite weather data, road conditions, traffic conditions etc to help reduce postharvest losses or the LCIRAH policy briefs on under-nutrition, we invite you to reflect on how we generate and use evidence for improving agricultural and nutrition outcomes.
For more in-depth reading, please click on the links in the K4D newsletter (download below) to access the full texts of all the articles.