The use of evidence for better decision-making by local governments

Almost all municipalities in Benin are aware of the importance of using evidence to support decision-making in all development sectors. Municipalities are unanimous on the importance of evidence, specifically in the health, and food and nutrition sectors. Specifically, in the latter sector, local governments have indicated that evidence is useful, but not always, especially in the event of an emergency response or when the available evidence is unusable.

In practice, local governments use data, beliefs, traditional knowledge, opinions, and central government policy directives. In order to acquire evidence, local authorities turn to civil society organizations, hospitals, the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Analysis, and technical and financial partners, and rarely to the research community, even though researchers are theoretically known as the traditional source of evidence.

This study recommends capacity building for the various stakeholders, brokering between evidence producers and users, and institutionalizing evidence use.