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Members of Parliaments have stressed the need for the Research Department of Parliament to be adequately resourced to provide relevant data that reflect the constantly evolving nature of the work of the legislature.

They contend that to improve Parliaments’ effectiveness in law making, legislators have to, at all times, be equipped with the relevant information and knowledge that would enable them make momentous legislation to enhance the country’s democracy and socio-economic development.

The Lawmakers made the call at a sensitization workshop aimed at building their capacities and that of research and policy staff of Parliament in the use of evidence-based research to inform policy making in Ghana.

The workshop was facilitated by the Ghana Information Network for Knowledge Sharing (GINKS) under its ‘Building Capacity for the Use of Research Evidence (BCURE)’ project.

The project stresses the need for professional development and the building of the capacity of civil and public servants, as well as policy makers, in the use of research evidence to improve policy making.

Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh, MP for Wa West, argued that Parliament could not shape policy on the basis of ignorance, therefore,  it was important that research formed the basis for policy making.

He said sometimes legislators were called on short notices to make statements and they often had to go looking for information, “but when they get it wrong they are fired all over”.

Mr Chireh, who is also the Chairman for the Health Committee of Parliament, therefore, stressed the need to provide adequate resource and the building of the capacity of the House’s research department to enable the outfit contribute effectively to informing policy making.

He said Parliament is ready to support the initiatives that would improve the policy making and democratic governance in the country.

Mr Ibrahim Inusah, Project Director of GINKS, said the BCURE programme was intended to equip policy makers with the capacity to access, evaluate and use research, and to respond to the research needs in Ghana.

He said the programme would also focus on strengthening the demand for research evidence in public policy making processes to impact on the formulation and implementation of better policies.

GINKS’ vision is to create a platform committed to promoting, creating, and providing knowledge for all through the use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) for national development. It is to increase the capacity of policy makers to respond to research uptake needs.

GINKS would work with Civil Service Training Center (CSTC) to develop a course in Evidence-Informed Policy Making (EIPM) in Ghana.

As part of the project, GINKS would work with Parliament to review the parliamentary support system, hold sensitization sessions with members of Parliament, form a small group of parliamentary staff identified for close monitoring and continuous learning, among others.
Source: GNA

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