The policy-knowledge communities project is a one year project supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands to strengthen evidence based policy advocacy on women entrepreneurship and social protection in Uganda. It is implemented by the Economic Policy Research Centre in collaboration with a consortium of the INCLUDE Platform Uganda Partners and the INCLUDE Knowledge Platform on Inclusive Development Policies.
The project seeks to create and strengthen the capacities of knowledge communities in Uganda towards more evidence-based policy making in the areas of women entrepreneurship and social protection.
- To support the Ugandan knowledge communities especially the generators on how to package research evidence into policy relevant products for policy makers;
- To create a platform or network for fostering knowledge sharing and communication of evidence to policy makers and other actors in the policy processes in Uganda and the region at large; and
- To bridge the gap between knowledge, policy and practice by raising awareness on the include platform activities, policies, legislation, programmes and other interventions in the areas of women entrepreneurship and social protection.
- Beneficiaries: Policy Makers in Government organs–Parliament, President’s Office, Office of the Prime Minister, National Planning Authority, Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development; and other key government departments and agencies.
- Development Partners: Multilateral and Bi-lateral partners and International Agencies.
- Civil Society Organizations and Advocacy Groups: Women Associations and organisations; Social Protection Networks and Associations, Private Sector Associations and Media.
- Research and Academia: Institutions, individuals and professional bodies.
Network engagement: Existing networks (personal, formal, electronic) provide useful pathways for developing relationships, information exchange or improving involvement in women entrepreneurship and social protection. For example, at a national level, the Parliamentary Committees on Gender and social protection, and Trade; and relevant sector working committees. In addition, knowledge products (such as policy briefs, Fact sheets etc) are posted on the INCLUDE and EPRC websites, which offer links to relevant knowledge products and institutions.
Strategic alliances: The project team has established strategic alliances with relevant organizations to ensure cost-effective communication. The team has so far engaged with the local research teams and institutions involved in the studies under the productive employment theme and the social protection theme. The meetings helped all project partners to conceptualise the specific objectives, terms of references of individual projects and how they fit into the INCLUDE Knowledge Communities Component. EPRC has been able to use the Uganda Economics Association Platform to show case include activities in Uganda and encourage the UEA members to contribute to policy debates on how social protection programmes can promote entrepreneurship and how can they best benefit informal sector workers.
Dialogue and outreach: Various approaches are being used tobuild and stimulate debates among various policy actors (e.g. through workshops, technical capacity building engagements and targeted meetings with relevant national policy actors, technocrats and women and social protection advocacy networks. We have been able to contribute towards conceptualization of methodologies and review of preliminary study results. Further assistance will be provided to the research teams to develop policy messages from their results for communication with the various policy actors, lobbyists and beneficiary groups at national, regional and international level.
Effective engagement with the media: The media has been identified as a critical partner in widely sharing research results and influencing policy processes. EPRC has thus, developed liaisons with various media houses to enable the INCLUDE partners and the EPRC team to get across key research and policy messages. Partners have been encouraged to write commentaries and blogs for sharing with the media and on other online INCLUDE information platforms.