Gloria Anderson is the recipient of the Africa Evidence Leadership Award 2022 in the Evidence Users category offered by the Africa Evidence Network. We caught up with Gloria about receiving the award and asked her some questions about what the Africa Evidence Leadership Award means for her work.
AEN: How did you feel and respond when you were told that you had received the award?
GA: I was surprised to be nominated in the first place. It was one of those moments where you think "I never saw this coming"! But it got serious when I was told I won the Africa Evidence Leadership Award. It was a shock to be the first recipient of the AELA in the evidence user category! It gave me a deep insight that there is more work to be done than I have done or thought of doing in the evidence eco system. I am very grateful for my colleagues at TEDI Tanzania as this award recognizes the work, we have all been doing in the use of evidence to improve the education and youth skills sector in Tanzania. I am indeed humbled.
AEN: What role do you think the Africa Evidence Leadership Award plays in the evidence-production and -use ecosystem in Africa?
GA: The purpose of this award is to showcase the status of Africa in global EIDM discussions by recognizing impactful, insightful, and innovative engagement with EIDM in Africa. The act of recognizing the work done by those who foster evidence-informed decisions-making (EIDM) in Africa by the Africa Evidence Network (AEN) pushes more practitioners and stakeholders in the ecosystem first to be aware of the Network and what it entails, and furthermore, encourages them to use evidence in the decision-making processes, especially in various sectoral policy making. And therefore, the award gives a room for the awardee to stand as ambassadors of the AEN as well as the use of evidence in decision making by elevating the work done by the individual and their organization, hence providing spaces for global partnerships that keep on fostering and strengthening Evidence-Informed Decision Making (EIDM) through their initiatives across the continent.
AEN: Name three ways you believe that you or your work will benefit from receiving the award? Why are these three things important to your work?
GA: This award will benefit my work at a personal, organizational, and sectoral level. The Africa Evidence Leadership Award (AELA) provides an opportunity for personal career development in the strengthening of evidence-informed decision-making and thus automatically improves your profile as a sectoral development practitioner in the evidence ecosystem. It further provides an opportunity to showcase my work on various global platforms, which leads to organizational growth through visibility, as through this award, development partners and practitioners across the globe will be aware of the use of EIDM at TEDI Tanzania.
AEN: What is the one thing that you are most looking forward to about attending EVIDENCE 2022?
GA: I am looking forward to participating and collaborating with AEN members in the preparation of Evidence 2022 and contributing as much as possible. I am also aware that I will give a keynote address at the next Evidence in 2022. Through the keynote address, which will mainly inspire and motivate youth across Africa to be evidence-informed decision makers as a way of developing their local communities, regardless of their age or circumstances, they will learn that they do not have to be a professor or a policy maker to be an evidence-user. I am also hoping that through this speech, fellow young African leaders, especially women, will be motivated to work on their dreams and contribute to the growth of our precious continent. Furthermore, I shall be sharing our plans and strategies on the use of evidence to improve the education sector in Tanzania and Africa at large.
AEN: What one piece of advice do you have for new colleagues coming into the evidence-informed decision-making space in Africa?
GA: To everyone joining the EIDM space in Africa, you are in the right place at the right time! The only time for Africans to work hard for sustainable development in Africa is now! And the only way to develop Africa is through evidence generation and its use for transformational impacts. Through being in this space, you would realize that if we had African leaders who would make policies in sectors like education, health, energy, agriculture, gender, etc. using EIDM, then we would have been speaking of a different Africa by now.
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