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Efforts to improve the use of evidence amongst policymakers have largely taken an individual approach – focussing on training and mentoring – assuming a lack of knowledge and skills. Whilst there was value in this, policymakers were often unable to put this into practice because of the constraints they faced in the form of institution-wide systems and structures. It was thus seen as essential to work at the level of the whole institution (called ‘department’ in this report). The VakaYiko project in South Africa aimed to test this organizational approach through its work with the Department for Environmental Affairs (DEA).