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Fourth Annual International Conference of African Science Academy Development Initiative (ASADI): Science Academies as Partners for Improving the Impact of Policies in Africa November 4 th -5 th 2008, Royal Society, London. Why would a Government want Independent Advice?.
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Fourth Annual International Conference of African Science Academy Development Initiative (ASADI):
Science Academies as Partners for Improving the Impact of Policies in Africa
November 4th -5th 2008, Royal Society, London.
Why would a Government want Independent Advice?
Patrick Amuriat Oboi, MP
Member Committee on science and technology
Parliament of Uganda
Climate change, energy shortage, emerging complex diseases, food shortage etc
Attempts by Africa to attain higher economic growth have so far not been entirely successful, with member states only attempting to attain macro-economic stabilization.
Democracy as opposed to a dictatorship or any other form of governance is a form of management in which the supreme power is held completely by the people under a free electoral system within that unit. Most countries globally practice democracy with varying degrees of meticulousness.
The Executive arm of government with the President as chief Executive is composed of the cabinet and is charged with the responsibility among others to determine, formulate and implement the policy of government. They are also under constitutional obligation to perform other functions that will be conferred by the constitution or any other subordinate law.
The evidence gathered in the process of scientific inquiry is specifically derived using standard procedures and criteria to minimize the influence of bias in the experimenter when testing hypotheses. The result and methodologies of such an investigation are also carefully documented so that other investigators can independently verify that the results are accurate and reliable
who should offer evidence based advice?
It can be argued that evidence based policy advice
While many elements within a nation can produce credible scientific advice, a science academy can do so with a unique level of credibility due to its independence from non- scientific influences, the degree of access to leading experts and scientific literature, and the use of rigorous consensus and external review methods.
Evidence-based scientific advice to government is necessary for optimizing the effectiveness of decisions-including laws, regulations, programs, and policies.
Evidence based advice can also help to entrench policy-decisions, both enriching the process and, probably legitimising the decisions taken. Owing to this, it would be ideally reasonably for policymakers to insist that no policy decision is justified without a strong evidence base to substantiate it.
e.g The PEAP (poverty Eradication Action Plan) which is a framework to guide the public to eradicate poverty is a strategy that the government of Uganda has used for some time now. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which represent a set of global development targets and priorities stand out as Government of Uganda commitment to her citizens. These framework documents require the force of clear understanding that would enable policymakers to understand what they are dealing with and how to most efficiently and efficiently deal with them.
Studies in Cameroon elucidating the link between goiter and iodine deficiency resulted in new regulations requiring industry to iodine salt.
A committee was formed at the institute of medicine to review data evaluating the efficacy and safety of single dose nevirapine and short course zidovudine regimens for preventing mother to child transmission of HIV infection (HIVNET 012 study). The committee found no reason to retract the publications or alter the conclusions of the HIVNET 012 study.
Getting Governments to Act:
At the broadest level, ASADI can contribute to improving the effectiveness and efficiency of key policy decisions, which can in turn contribute to development goals, such as improved human health. ASADI can promote the development process of Africa by strengthening the physical and intellectual infrastructure of science Academies and its staff and by increasing the academies’ capacity to interact with its government. ASADI can also facilitate interactions among African academies which: (1) helps Academies learn through the successes and failures of other Academies; and (2) promotes educational opportunities offered by more advanced African Academies of science