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Towards a more sustainable supply and use of evidence in agricultural policy in Benin

2023 By: Thoto, F.; Mas Aparisi, A.; Derlagen, C.
Food systems
Nature economy

The production and use of evidence for agricultural policy is critical to prioritizing and targeting effective agricultural transformation reforms in African countries. International development organizations, like FAO, have supported programmes that promote evidence-informed policies. This policy brief summarizes the findings from the Paper ‘An ecosystemic framework for analysing evidence-informed policy systems for agricultural transformation – Case study of Benin’, drawing on ecological science and social network analysis to develop and test a framework to map agricultural evidence-policy systems and understand their sustainability in Benin.

Despite the evidence policy ecosystem in Benin comprising almost 50 organizations that supply, broker or demand agricultural policy evidence, this network does not leverage all possible connections to help circulate evidence due to a lack of brokering organizations. It also highlighted a disconnect between data as the preferred form of policy evidence and the prioritization by these organizations of data actually being produced. Although there is a relatively sustainable ecosystem in place to incentivize and use evidence for agricultural development, there is an over reliance on its funding from development partners. Finally, it provides policy recommendations with the key entry points including developing a strategic vison for agricultural research, strengthening agricultural data and further institutionalizing evidence use.