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Civil service training in Ghana

Project description

Led by INASP, the VakaYiko Consortium aimed to strengthen the use of research evidence in policy making, working to build capacity at individual, institutional and systems level.

The skills and knowledge of researchers and policy analysts within government are critical for evidence to be better used, a need that was recognised by the head of the Ghana Civil Service.

The Ghana Information Network for Knowledge Sharing (GINKS), worked directly with the Civil Service Training Centre (CSTC), under the auspices of the Office of the Head of Civil Service (OHCS), to develop a new training course for civil servants on evidence-informed policy making (EIPM). The training content was developed in an interdisciplinary way, encompassing elements of information literacy, communications skills, and research methodology. Trainers were drawn from CSTC’s existing pool of permanent and adjunct trainers, and were prepared for the training workshops through a Training of Trainers (ToT) workshop run by INASP.

Four ten-day training courses were run, for 95 civil servants from 27 government ministries, departments and agencies. Attendees were usually drawn from research, statistics and information management directorates or planning, policy, monitoring and evaluation units. All trainees produced action plans in order to implement the learning from the course.

Following positive results with CSTC, it was decided to pilot elements of the course the with the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), targeted at more senior civil servants, and those with management rather than operational responsibilities. 25 participants joined the course from 21 different central and local government offices.

Achievements

  • Following the pilot course, CSTC trained 20 participants to become adjunct trainers for the centre, widening its pool of trainers who are equipped to train on evidence use. 
  • CSTC embarked on discussion with the Cabinet Secretariat of Ghana to deliver a series of EIPM training to senior officers, following demand for similar capacity building programmes.
  • GIMPA absorbed some of the content into its Postgraduate Diploma programme in Public Administration and its Senior Management Training Programme.  

Evidence-Informed Policy Making Toolkit

Building on the experience and leaning from the Ghana courses, as well as face to face and online training with partners in Argentina, South Africa, Sudan and Uganda, INASP developed the training materials and approaches into an Evidence-Informed Policy Making Toolkit.

The Toolkit is an adaptable suite of resources created to support civil servants and parliamentary staff to use evidence in policy making in developing countries. 

Comprised of four modules, the toolkit focuses on finding, evaluating and communicating evidence as well as developing practical implementation plans. It includes training materials as well as practical handbooks, readings, handouts and other resources. 

The training was very informative and a deviation from the normal training programmes on policy making. It placed more emphasis on the processes of collecting the right evidence to inform policy. The approach was very practical which was commendable.

 Participant of workshop in Ghana, 2015

This [training] is very important as we’ve had challenges with our policy processes [and] cabinet memos have not been properly written in some instances.... a technocratic committee of cabinet has been launched... to do some housecleaning or gatekeeping work before [policy documents] go to the cabinet.

Ghana’s Head of Civil Service, Nana Kwesi Agyekum Dwamena, addresses participants at the launch of the VakaYiko Evidence-Informed Policy Making course at the Civil Service Training Centre, Accra, April 2015

This kind of course will be crucial for our staff at the district and regional levels if the Ministry’s proposed labour market information system is to be well implemented at that level.

George Amoah, Assistant Director, Research Statistics and Information Management Directorate, Ghana Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, adjunct trainer on the VakaYiko CSTC EIPM course

The training was very informative and a deviation from the normal training programmes on policy making. It placed more emphasis on the processes of collecting the right evidence to inform policy. The approach was very practical which was commendable.

Report on behalf of participants at CSTC training, 2015
 

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Funded by
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Lead partner
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Partners
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INASP
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Civil Service Training Centre, Ghana
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Office of the Head of Civil Service, Ghana
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GIMPA