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 participated:
- 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.