Creating spaces for dialogues to influence policymaking: some experiences in climate adaptation at the local, national or international level

Influencing policies is at the core of our interventions and an important channel to impact in our work. ACED has explicit mechanisms to influence policies. These include a platform on evidence, a helpdesk and the organization of Evidence-Policy-Action (EPA) dialogues (i.e EPA Forum).

The platform on evidence is a virtual library which provides policymakers (but also practitioners) with evidence syntheses on various topics related to agriculture, food security and nutrition. The evidence syntheses are in French and include key information that policymakers can directly use to support their decisions.

The helpdesk is a flagship service of ACED that allows policymakers to submit policy questions related to agriculture, food security and nutrition. In about 3-4 weeks, the helpdesk conducts rapid evidence synthesis to respond to the policy questions and inform decision-making.

The Evidence-Policy-Action Dialogues create a space to connect researchers and policymakers to discuss research findings or formulate tailored research questions. The annual EPA Forum offers the largest platform for all stakeholders (researchers, policymakers, practitioners, private sector, etc.) in the food security and nutrition sector to share knowledge, discuss, and reflect on improving evidence use.

ACED in partnership with the Ministry of Higher Education, initiated the development of a dedicated research agenda on food security and nutrition, with the ambition to align research efforts and financing with national imperatives.

These activities help position ACED’s work in the policy space to be in a position to influence policies.

At the national level, through policy engagement, ACED’s research findings and overall work on climate change has been used to define policies. For example, ACED’s work on adaptation to climate change has been acknowledged in the Third National Communication (TCN) as an important contribution to Benin’s response to climate change (More information here). Indeed, in the application of the provisions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and decisions 1/CP16 and 2/CP17 of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC, the Republic of Benin has prepared and submitted to the UNFCCC secretariat its Third National Communication (TCN) in 2019.

At the international level, ACED has been granted the Special Consultative Status by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) since 2015. Consultative status for an organization enables it to actively engage with ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies, as well as with the United Nations Secretariat and programmes. Therefore, ACED is able to participate and contribute to the activities of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).