News and Events

MPs Root for Evidence Use in Decision Making

A group of Members of the National Assembly have this morning resolved to become champions of the use of data and research for the effective execution of their mandate. Speaking during a consultative breakfast meeting for the Parliamentary Caucus on Evidence-Informed Oversight and Decision Making, the MPs led by the caucus chair, Kitui Central MP, Dr. Makali Mulu, decried that in this era of open governance and entrenched parliamentary democracy, members have continued to carry out, especially their budget making role and oversight, devoid of good research background or credible data. “There are a lot of generalities in our debates at the floor of the House and in Committees. We need to partner with institutions that carry out research in the country so that MPs can make well researched contributions”, Hon. Mulu observed.

The forum underscored the need for government to embrace monitoring and evaluation as a key tenet of good governance. The MPs called on government and private institutions undertaking research to ensure that their research is credible enough to drive policy. He lamented that the Houses of Parliament have more often than not transacted business without embracing sufficient research evidence. They challenged the government officials present among them officers from the National Treasury, to develop a database on the research institutions both within and outside government so that the institutions can concert their efforts. The caucus also urged for the sensitization of the various Parliamentary Committees on the importance of inculcating monitoring and evaluation in their oversight role. They noted that this would be necessary if the government is to win the war against corruption and promote prudent usage of resources.

Addressing the forum, former MP and founder Member of the Caucus Hon. Dr. Susan Musyoka urged MPs to work closely with the Parliamentary Research Office, terming it as a very useful department which MPs rarely utilize. She urged the members of the caucus in the 12th Parliament to soldier until Parliament fully embraces use of evidence in decision making.

While making her contribution, the founder and chair of the Evaluation Society of Kenya, Ms. Jennifer Mutua, noted that Kenya is a country that fears data. She expressed the fact that data has now become the most important resource globally and that countries experiencing immense social economic transformation have done so by recognizing the place of data and research in their development agenda. She urged the caucus to promote use of research in all Parliamentary undertakings.

The caucus which was inaugurated during the 11th Parliament, advocates for research and evidence uptake among MPs, in undertaking their constitutional mandates of oversight, legislation, resource allocation and representation. The Caucus currently has thirteen (13) members from the National Assembly and is expected to increase to twenty (20) with the Senate representation in due course. Its formation was informed by the need to increase the interest of Parliamentarians as policymakers to appreciate the use of evidence in undertaking oversight and in the process of making policy decisions. The caucus works in partnership with the African Institute of Development Policy (AFIDEP).

Other Caucus Members present in today forum include, Kiambu Town MP, Hon. Jude Njomo, Nambale MP, Hon. Sakwa Bunyasi, Kabondo Kasipul MP, Hon. Eve Obara, Kitui Rural MP, Hon. David Mwalika, Kericho County MP, Hon. Florence Koskey, Embu County MP, Hon. Jane Njiru and Bondo MP, Hon. Gideon Ochanda.

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