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 research methods.
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.