Statement by INASP on the importance of research and evidence
INASP is increasingly concerned by the growing opposition to the role of scientific research and evidence voiced in global politics in recent months.
With a vision of research and knowledge at the heart of development, INASP is committed to supporting the production of high-quality research and the appropriate use of evidence in policy making. The key principles that underpin our approach and guide our strategy are based on an understanding that evidence and knowledge are central to solving development challenges.
This is why, for 25 years, INASP has supported developing-world researchers in gaining access to published research and why we support open access and open data initiatives. It is why we are working to help undergraduates develop critical thinking skills and why we support researchers as they seek to communicate their own research more widely.
It is also why we and our partners train policymakers to use research and evidence in policy making. Through our work, we have seen some great examples of evidence informing policy. In Kenya, for example, roundtables and job shadowing between environmental researchers and policymakers in the country led to the development of the 2016 Climate Change Bill. In Zimbabwe, convinced of the importance of evidence to develop policies, the Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment established a Research and Policy Coordination Unit. And in Sudan, training has ensured the use of evidence in gender mainstreaming for policy development in the country.
As alternative viewpoints are presented and politicians counter scientific evidence with ‘alternative facts’, it is important for researchers, policymakers and the general public all over the world to be able to appraise evidence and develop informed opinions. This has been a cornerstone of INASP’s work for the past 25 years and it will remain the core driving force as we continue to support Southern – and global – research and policy in the future.