Skip to main content
Document image

This report outlines the factors that shape evidence use within African parliaments. The authors argue that the parliamentary systems that shape how evidence is gathered and used, as well as the parliamentary staff who deliver these activities, have frequently been overlooked in parliamentary strengthening programmes. 


The report explores several macro-level issues that shape evidence use in parliaments in dynamic and fast-changing African democracies, including:

  • Executive dominance; where the Executive can monopolise information, thereby limiting the ability of parliamentarians to hold government to account 
  • Party politics; where growing multipartyism is linked to the expansion of the role of the opposition
  • The knowledge society; where the demand for higher education so to generate home-grown technological solutions outstrips current public financing capacity


The report also outlines key organisational issues for parliamentary information support units, including:

  • Improving academic engagement and links with external research institutions 
  • Working with parliamentarians who ‘champion’ evidence use
  • Implementing mechanisms for requesting and processing evidence


The report is accompanied by case studies which consider these institutional factors specifically in the parliaments of Uganda, Zimbabwe and Ghana. 


To read more, please follow this link to download the full report.


If you use the information detailed in the report, please cite as follows: 

Draman, R., Titriku, A., Lampo, I., Hayter, E., Holden, K. (2017) Evidence in African Parliaments. ACEPA, INASP, QMUL. 


ACEPA: African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA) is an African not-for-profit organization dedicated to building the capacity of African Parliaments and elected representative bodies at all levels of governance. To find out more about the work of ACEPA please follow this link.


INASP: The International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) is an international development organisation that aims to strengthen access to, production and use of knowledge and evidence in Africa, Asia and Latin America. To find out more about the work of INASP, please follow this link.


Document to download