The aim of this assessment is to understand the needs that members of
the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MIC) in Zimbabwe have in terms of
accessing research information, and evaluating and using it. The
information collected will form the basis for content development of
VakaYiko Evidence-Informed Policy Making (EIPM) courses in Zimbabwe
which will be delivered for staff in the Ministry for Industry and
Commerce and the Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic
Empowerment as well as the Parliament in 2014 and 2015.
The needs assessment was conducted at the end of a sensitization
workshop in November 2013 in which participants from the Ministry of
Industry and Commerce (MIC) familiarized themselves with the concept of
EIPM. Overall, the participants correspond to the targeted participants
for the EIPM courses in the MIC. This is because the sample represents a
good mix of staff from different hierarchy levels, departments, roles
and job functions.
The assessment consists of two parts:
- First, a problem tree analysis was used as a brainstorming tool to
assist a participative analysis of the existing research-policy
situation, identifying major problems and main causal relationships.
- Secondly, participants filled out a survey that comprised open-ended
and multiple-choice questions to assess knowledge and capacities on
EIPM, sourcing information for policy making and understanding of
The problem tree group exercise proved that participants are aware of
the need of using evidence in the policy-making process and potential
causes that prevent its use. While participants knew about the
importance of EIPM, the survey did identify knowledge gaps, especially
in the field of research methods and the evaluation of information
sources. These gaps correspond to the self-identified capacity gaps in
the group exercise and self-assessed needs in the survey. These
self-identified capacity gaps go even further, mentioning a variety of
needs in data collection, analysis of data and research and
communication. The motivation for training on EIPM was widely expressed
in the survey, as well as the group discussion.
ZeipNET; INASP. Needs Assessment: Evidence-Informed Policy Making Course in the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Zimbabwe. INASP, Oxford, UK (2014) 5 pp.