This project is no longer supported by CEDIL due to UK aid cuts during COVID-19.

The art and science of using evidence: an evidence map, synthesis and evidence-informed guidelines for supporting the use of evidence in low- and middle-income countries

Programme of work

Increasing evidence use

Principal investigator(s)

Laurenz Langer

Host institution

Africa Centre for Evidence, University of Johannesburg


January 2020 to March 2021 (TBC)

Project type

Evidence synthesis


Low- and middle-income countries

Research question

This research project will identify what works in supporting evidence-informed policymaking in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and develop evidence-informed guidelines for strengthening evidence-use in LMICs.

The project will address the following questions:

  1. What is the size and nature of the existing evidence base on evidence-informed policymaking in LMICs?
  2. Which interventions are effective in supporting evidence-informed policymaking and in what contexts?
  3. How can the evidence base on evidence-informed policymaking in LMICs be used to inform improved practical guidance for policymakers that supports strengthened individual and institutionalised evidence use?

Research design

The study team will use systematic review methodology to produce:

  1. An evidence map of existing evaluations and assessments of evidence-informed policymaking interventions in LMICs;
  2. A rapid evidence synthesis on what works for evidence-informed policymaking and in what contexts; and
  3. Evidence-informed guidelines for strengthening evidence-use.

Data source

The team will draw on a full range of available empirical evidence on applied evidence-informed interventions in LMICs, including grey literature and programme data.

Policy relevance

This project will directly support the demand for evidence-informed policymaking in LMICs by (1) establishing an open-access hub collating the existing knowledge on what works for evidence-informed policymaking; and (2) producing evidence-informed guidelines on how to implement and institutionalise strategies and interventions to support evidence-use. The guidelines will be piloted with the Department of Monitoring and Evaluation in South Africa, the Office of the Prime Minister in Uganda, and the ministries of health in Ethiopia and Burkina Faso.