Africa Evidence Network 2018 conference

We are excited to announce that AEN will be hosting its biennial conference – EVIDENCE 2018 – at the CSIR International Convention Centre from 25-28 September 2018.

The EVIDENCE conferences are the biggest platform for evidence-informed decision making enthusiasts across Africa – attracting friends from beyond the continent too – creating invaluable networks and partnerships. We include researchers, data specialists, evaluators, M&E officers, knowledge brokers, public servants, government officials, members of civil society, and students. In this community we engage. We leverage our personal relationships and the more established institutional partnerships we represent to build an open community of people committed to producing and using evidence to make a difference in our region. And there is no better way and time to do this than at what promises to be the biggest EVIDENCE meeting yet. I do hope that you can join us.

EVIDENCE 2018 aims to encourage and promote evidence-informed decision-making (EIDM) in Africa, thereby contributing to the development of effective public policies, efficient implementation of services, as well as joint learning on interventions that tackle poverty and equality in African countries. The objectives of the conference include to:

  1. Share lessons learnt and advance discussions in supporting EIDM in Africa;
  2. Increase engagement across AEN membership and build relations with relevant institutions and professionals in EIDM;
  3. Situate the AEN as a key player in, and umbrella body for, EIDM in Africa.

EVIDENCE 2018 Conference Chairs

We are very pleased to announce that the Co-Chairs for EVIDENCE 2018 are:

  1. Dr Shanil Haricharan, from the Government Technical Advisory Centre, South Africa, who has a diverse professional work experience in the public sector as a senior official and advisor over the past 22 years in all three spheres of government, specialising in public management, leadership and organisational development with a special interest in promoting the use of evidence in public sector decision-making; and
  2. Dr Rhona Mijumbi-Deve, from the Africa Centre for Knowledge Translation at Makerere University, Uganda, who as a medical doctor by training, is a is a health policy analyst and knowledge translation specialist. She is currently the principal investigator for the “Using Evidence to strengthen health systems in Africa and the Middle East” (UsEvidence project), a collaborative project between Uganda, Zambia and Lebanon.

Who should be attending?

All AEN members as well as anyone who works in Africa that has an interest in evidence-informed-decision-making, including those working in government, civil society, universities and the private sector.


Registration for the conference is open. We encourage you to take advantage of the reduced early-registration discount of over ZAR 700 until 30 April 2018, where after the regular fee will apply.

Africa Evidence Leadership Award

We are proud to be launching the Africa Evidence Leadership Award.

This annual prize will highlight each year the great contribution of one influential leader in this field. The award winner will be profiled internationally for their work and receive travel bursaries to attend and present at both EVIDENCE 2018, and another evidence event of their choice.

In a member-driven network, members are actively engaged in the activities AEN performs. As a result members have an opportunity to select a leader amongst their peers in this field and the selection of the prize winner will be AEN member driven.

Are you someone who aspires to make a difference in your work? Who is committed to furthering the agenda for evidence-informed decision-making, whether working in one sector on one aspect of the evidence ecosystem, maybe M&E or knowledge-brokering, or whether working at a big picture cross disciplinary level?

Are you someone who can inspire others, within your own networks, nationally and internationally? We want to hear your story, learn about your work and share it widely to inspire others. We want to work together with you to showcase the importance of using evidence to inform decisions.

Do you know someone who deserves this award? Encourage them to get in touch. Download the relevant documentation here:
Terms of Reference
Application Form – MS Word
Application Form – PDF

Call for Abstracts

EVIDENCE 2018 call for abstracts are open.

The conference will cover the broad themes of engagement (with one another within our evidence ecosystem), understanding (of evidence and how it can make a difference) and impact (on decision-making and on priorities in our region). In response to feedback from our members, we will have dedicated time during EVIDENCE 2018 to focus on four priority issues for Africa, exploring how evidence-informed decision-making can make a difference in these areas. These will include:

1. Quality Education
2. Communicable Diseases
3. Climate Resilience
4. Good Governance

Although we encourage submissions under the four themes, abstracts that fall outside of these thematic areas but that provide illustrative examples of the use of evidence in decision-making processes in Africa are also welcomed.  The four priority issues will be refined in response to your input, abstract submissions, and developments in policy priorities in our region. This will allow us to build our shared knowledge and understanding, not only in theory, but also with concrete application to important issues. Although the conference focuses on EIDM as applied in the African context, examples of learning from elsewhere are also welcomed. You will be encouraged to contribute not only to areas where you have expertise, but also in new areas of interest.

I am inviting the submission of abstracts for presentation at EVIDENCE 2018 from civil servants, researchers, knowledge brokers and those with a particular interested in EIDM.

AEN Bursary Applications

Applications for the AEN Bursary fund is open.

The aim of the AEN Bursary programme is to make the Evidence 2018 Conference accessible to those participants who would otherwise not have been able to attend. If you do have access to resources to fund your Evidence 2018 participation, travel and accommodation, please do not apply for a bursary.

The AEN bursary fund is restricted and can only support the most meritorious applications. Preference will be given to those individuals who make a significant contribution to the Evidence 2018 Conference programme or who can demonstrate that their participation will advance evidence-informed decision-making in their respective professions.

Applications for the AEN Bursary programme are open to participants from the African continent only. Employees of international donor organizations are unfortunately not eligible for bursaries. Please note that applications from the North and West Africa regions are particular encouraged.

Check here for more information about the bursary application process and to apply for a bursary.

Important dates

Please take note of the following important dates:

  • 01 April 2018: Africa Evidence Leadership Award applications close
  • 30 April 2018: Early registration closes/ Abstract submission closes / Bursary application closes
  • 18 September 2018: Regular registration closes

As with previous EVIDENCE conferences, we will meet in an informal and friendly environment, with innovative approaches to facilitate networking and knowledge exchange. There will be opportunities to attend workshops, for organisations to arrange their own satellite sessions, and for exhibition space. This is not a traditional conference, but a true networking event.

If you have any enquiries, please do not hesitate to contact the EVIDENCE 2018 secretariat at +27(0)12 349 2301 or e-mail: [email protected]