This assessment of the Parliament of Zimbabwe aimed at understanding the
training needs of members of the Administration of Parliament, focusing
on their capacity to access, evaluate and use research evidence to
support parliamentary processes. The information obtained from the
assessment will support the development of content for the VakaYiko
Evidence-Informed Policy Making (EIPM) courses, which will be delivered
to Parliament support staff during 2014/15.
The needs assessment, carried out at the end of a sensitization
workshop, was participatory in nature and participants were drawn from
departments with a remit to support the parliamentary processes through
the provision of information. The following four departments
- Information Communication Technologies.
The assessment was made up of two components:
1. A brainstorming session
For this component, a problem tree analysis was used as an instrument
to brainstorm on the current use or non-use of research evidence and the
causal-effect relationships thereof.
2. A needs assessment survey
Participants also completed a needs assessment survey that consisted of
questions that sought to identify knowledge and capacity gaps in
sourcing, accessing and evaluating information to support
decision-making processes in Parliament.
The participants who took part in the needs assessment are relevant
participants for the proposed EIPM capacity-building course because
within their work roles they support the parliamentary process through
the provision of research evidence.
The brainstorming session indicated that the participants are fully
aware of the importance and need to use research evidence to inform
decisions in parliamentary processes. They are also aware of the threats
and/or barriers to the use of research evidence. Participants also
managed to identify capacity gaps and suggested possible interventions
to support the use of evidence. These identified gaps correspond to some
of the content of the planned EIPM course modules.
ZeipNET; INASP. Needs Assessment: Evidence-Informed Policy Making Course in the Parliament of Zimbabwe. INASP, Oxford, UK (2014) 5 pp.