During the COVID pandemic, the need for rapid evidence in different social areas was heightened in Brazil. At the same time, many organizations working with tools for evidence-informed policymaking (EIP) were disconnected, often developing similar products that resulted in overlapping efforts. In late 2020, Instituto Veredas, Codeplan/DF, Evidência Express (Evex/Enap), Fiocruz Brasília, and EVIPNet Brasil joined forces to finally bring together these organizations.
This initiative was inspired by other regional EIP networks from around the world, such as the Africa Evidence Network (AEN). This presented an opportunity for collaborative learning, with members of the four founding organizations connecting with the AEN secretariat, attending and participating in events, to learn from the work they do across Africa.
Instituto Veredas conducted a mapping of organizations through an online form in November 2020 and received 64 responses from multi-sectoral organizations, registering 145 people to its mailing list. These people were contacted and invited to participate in the first general meeting in April 2021.
About 50 Brazilian organizations have since been engaged in the Brazilian Coalition of Evidence’s monthly online meetings. They are linked to governments, universities and civil society. The first two meetings tried to create a common understanding of EIP methods and protocols, by having organizations present their work and their tools, as well as their perceptions of the main challenges faced.
The next five meetings were dedicated to fostering the development of five working groups – Internal Articulation, External Articulation, Continuous Learning, Institutional Sustainability and Communications – as well as defining collaboratively the Coalition’s Mission, Vision, Objectives, Values and Key-concepts:
- Mission: To encourage and qualify evidence-use to inform public policies in Brazil.
- Vision: Be a strong, structured, sustainable and transparent network, with diverse stakeholders, recognized for supporting the use of evidence in public policies that attend to needs of the Brazilian population.
- Values: Cooperation; Transparency; Ethical work and commitment to the public good; Pluralism; Scientific rigor and value of knowledge.
- To develop, refine and share tools and products of knowledge translation, ranging from the production to the implementation of evidence;
- Support policies using evidence synthesis, systematic reviews, impact evaluations, rapid reviews and evidence maps;
- Facilitate communication and provide exchanges and mutual support among Coalition members.
“Throughout 2021, we also held webinars, developed and offered an online course about EIP with mentorship and created a platform to showcase the Coalition’s work and curate evidence for public managers, civil society, and researchers,” explained Davi Romão, vice-executive director of Veredas. All the resources and meetings are made public given that transparency is a key-value for the Coalition’s members.
Luciano Máximo, representative of the Evaluation and Results Learning Center for Brazil and Lusophone Africa (FGV Clear), believes that the Coalition’s next step is making the best of this window of opportunity to “sensitize leaders in the government to use evidence in their decision-making”. The Coalition is already working on communication pieces for the Brazilian general elections in 2022, both informing candidates and voters about the potential benefits of EIP.
While most of our work is in Portuguese, Veredas is happy to arrange translations and connect with organizations worldwide. To write to us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.