My engagement with Africa Evidence Network pushed me to get opportunities to showcase my work so that I could meet this criteria, together with my fieldwork in Cameroon, the work of my own organisation, and the work we do with eBase.
by Ndi Euphrasia Atuh
Ndi Euphrasia Atuh from Cameroon joined the AEN in 2018. She is one of the founders of the Cameroon Consumer Service Organisation (Camcoso) - an organisation to protect the rights of consumers in basic services such as health, education, local governance, water and sanitation and hygiene. Through her work she got to know Effective Basic Services (eBase) in Cameroon, an active member of the AEN. They in turn introduced her to the AEN, but also to the concept of evidence- informed decision-making (EIDM). She describes the impact of EIDM:
"It was very revolutionary to our work. This changed the way that we work, from our fieldwork to advocacy. It also changed how we design projects. We now say let’s go in for what works… Getting involved in the evidence ecosystem has revolutionised things. We are using evidence as a barometer for our strategies, the design of our initiatives, the implementation of our activities. It has created a whole new level of impact."
Ndi is also a runner up in the 2019 Africa Evidence Leadership Award (AELA). Although she is very appreciative of this acknowledgement, the most important thing for her is that:
“In this journey of evidence I want to see my awards in changing lives, I want to see evidence translate into day-to-day gains.” At a personal level the award has provided reassurance, boosted her confidence levels and inspired her in her work. At a professional level it opened doors for her to attend an evidence symposium in Brazil in September 2019. She learnt about the opportunity through the AEN newsletter, and obtained a letter of support from the AEN Secretariat. She was successful in obtaining a stipend to attend and describes the contribution of the AEN as follows:
"One of the criteria [for the award] was your evidence promotion activity in your country. My engagement with Africa Evidence Network pushed me to get opportunities to showcase my work so that I could meet this criteria, together with my fieldwork in Cameroon, the work of my own organisation, and the work we do with eBase. Now I had evidence of evidence-informed activities to meet the criteria… It was my first time leaving the country and continent. It was very exciting and a whole new experience for me."
Closer to home the award has raised her profile and given her a platform in her community. It has made possible opportunities for her to meet with policy-makers at a local level who were not aware of what she was doing. Such opportunities will enable her to continue her local and international journey to promote the use of evidence.