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Call for Applications for an Evidence Leadership Award for AAS Fellows, Affiliates & Grantees

Funding Call Details

Call for Applications for an Evidence Leadership Award for AAS Fellows, Affiliates & Grantees

Overview of Evidence Leaders in Africa Initiative

The new Award is part of the Evidence Leaders in Africa (ELA) initiative, which is working to expand leadership for the use of evidence in policy formulation and implementation by African governments. The initiative is a collaboration between the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) and the African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP), and is implemented in East and West Africa. The initiative is funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

The initiative seeks to inspire and empower AAS scholars to proactively engage governments to use science and innovation, as well as champion Evidence-Informed Decision-Making (EIDM) in East and West Africa. Specifically, the project seeks to:

  1. Increase the number of academic leaders championing EIDM in Africa
  2. Increase the number of government agencies in East and West Africa taking specific actions to institutionalise EIDM
  3. Deepen evidence and expand space for EIDM learning in Africa

The Evidence Leadership Award

The ELA initiative invites AAS fellows, affiliates and grantees who are innovating with interventions that promote, support and enable the use of evidence in decision-making in government institutions to apply for a leadership award to recognize these efforts.

The purpose of the Award is to increase efforts by AAS scholars and researchers that seek to promote, support, and enable evidence-informed decision-making within government agencies in their countries.

The award will be given to individuals only and will cover initiatives that promote, support or enable EIDM including but not limited to initiatives that:

  • Synthesise and repackage evidence for decision-makers
  • Repackage evidence for decision-makers
  • Use multi-media/innovative technologies in repackaging and presenting evidence to decision-makers
  • Facilitate regular discussions of evidence on policy issues by policymakers and researchers (dialogues)
  • Build and sustain relationships and interactions between researchers and policymakers
  • Engage and facilitate media to improve media coverage of research and other evidence
  • Engage civil society and communities with evidence
  • Build capacity of decision-makers or other evidence users in interpretation and application of evidence to improve the uptake of evidence in decision-making
  • Advocate for and/or support the development of tools and guidelines that support evidence use
  • Provide technical advice to decision-makers to improve decision-making
  • Advocate for and support the strengthening of institutional leadership, systems, structures, budgets, and capacities for enabling EIDM
  • Assess and evaluate the effectiveness of EIDM interventions
  • The award will have a monetary value of US$ 5,000 for the winner, and US$ 2,500 for two runners-up. Winners will use the prize money to conduct evidence-to-policy activities with policymakers and researchers, for participation in relevant conferences, or to attend relevant professional development courses or programmes.
  • The top winner will have an opportunity to speak at the evidence uptake conference that will be hosted in July 2020 in Nairobi for AAS scholars, researchers and policymakers. Expenses to the conference will be fully covered including: conference registration, return economy flights, accommodation, and a modest stipend.
  • The winners profiles will be published in the websites of AFIDEP and AAS, social media and the conference report.

Applicants for the Award must:

  • Be an AAS fellow, grantee or affiliate.
  • Be from one of the eligible countries in East and West Africa (East Africa: Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. West Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo).
  • Be able to communicate in English or French.
  • The awardee should also be able and available to travel to the July Evidence uptake conference in Nairobi.
  • Provide at least 3 referees who will attest to their EIDM initiative(s) and its/their contribution to enabling evidence use. One of these referees must be a policymaker whom your work has benefited or impacted.
  • How long has the applicant been evidently promoting, or enabling, the use of evidence in policy decisions?
  • What is the level of innovation and/or creativity demonstrated in the applicant’s efforts?
  • How effective have the applicant’s initiatives been in promoting or enabling increased use or consideration of evidence? (effectiveness of their interventions)
  • How sustainable are the applicant’s EIDM efforts?
  • Has the applicant received other relevant prizes, awards or other forms of recognition related to the promotion of evidence uptake?
  • How has this applicant demonstrated leadership in EIDM?
  • Have the applicant’s efforts involved a mix of varied interventions to promote or enable evidence uptake?

Award timelines


Call for applicants

September 5, 2019

Submission deadline

April 1, 2020

Review and selection

April 2020

Notification of Awardees

May 15, 2020

Award Ceremony

July 2020

Applicants are expected to fill an application form which requires the following information:

  • Basic demographic information
  • Name, institutional affiliation and position held
  • Short public biography of the applicant.
  • A narrative on the initiatives they have been engaged in that that enhance evidence uptake in government institutions.
  • CV (no more than 4 pages)
  • Contact details of at least three referees who are willing to attest to the applicants’ contribution towards EIDM in Africa. The referees will be required to fill a nomination form and send it directly to the award organisers.  
  • Sample of any articles about your work related to EIDM (if available).