New modalities and themes for science advice in West and Central Africa
Governments in West and Central Africa face multi-faceted challenges that require not only robust scientific evidence, but also significant levels of coordination at a regional or sub-regional level. Academies of science and economic and social councils often play a key role in providing science advice to governments, with the latter being particularly prominent in Francophone countries. However, effective mechanisms are often lacking for governments to obtain relevant, impartial information that reflects the current state of knowledge. This is especially challenging for countries with smaller or underfunded scientific communities and decision-making bodies.
This project tackles this gap by undertaking two regional pilot studies to address the persistent structural barriers to evidence-based decision-making in science systems in the region. The studies will examine the state of knowledge of, and making policy recommendations on, critical issues related to the green economy and women’s economic empowerment. It will also support reflections on regional science advice modalities, as well as organizational capacity building in this field, and identify new opportunities for regional collaboration between governmental bodies and the scientific community in soliciting and undertaking science advice activities.
The project is led by the Académie Nationale des Sciences et Techniques du Sénégal and Senegal’s Conseil économique, social et environnemental and brings together other academies and councils from the region, as well as key regional stakeholders such as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). It is funded in parallel by the Fonds de recherche du Québec, which supports capacity building related to science advice, particularly in Francophone countries.