From Evidence to Policy: A Decision Science Symposium with the Government of Rwanda and J-PAL

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May 21-22, 2013 Kigali, Rwanda


The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning of Rwanda, in conjunction with J-PAL, hosted a Decision Science Symposium to discuss the development priorities of the Government of Rwanda and how these can be informed by impact evaluations. Over 80 government officials attended the two-day event in Kigali, which started with high-level panel discussions of evidence-based policy in the areas of Agriculture, Education and Heath. 

On the second day, the discussions shifted to the Ministries of Agriculture, Education and Health, to discuss the details of the evidence in the context of each ministry’s priorities. The event marks the start of an ongoing collaboration between the Government of Rwanda and J-PAL.

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Summary of Conference Agenda and Presentations

DAY ONE: May 21, 2013
Hosted by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning

Conference Inauguration
Hon. Protais Musoni, Minister of Cabinet Affairs

Overview of the Decision Science Approach
Dr. Rachel Glennerster, Executive Director, J-PAL Global

Panel 1 
USING SCHOOLS TO TRANSFORM THE ECONOMY: School Health and Quality of Education

Chair
Dr. Lamin Manneh, Resident Coordinator, United Nations Development Programme 

Panelists
Hon. Dr. Vincent Biruta, Minister of Education 
Hon. Dr. Anita Asiimwe, Minister of State in Charge of Health 
Dr. Rachel Glennerster, Executive Director, J-PAL Global
Dr. Paul Gertler, Li Ka Shing Professor, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley

Panel 2 
UPTAKE OF TECHNOLOGY IN RURAL AREAS: Improving Agricultural Productivity

Chair 
Ms. Carolyn Turk, World Bank Country Manager 

Panelists
Hon. Dr. Anges M. Kalibata, Minister of Agriculture 
Mr. Innocent Bulindi, CEO, Business Development Fund 
Dr. Rachel Glennerster, Executive Director, J-PAL Global
Dr. Tavneet Suri, Maurice F. Strong Career Development Associate Professor of Applied Economics, MIT

Closing Remarks
Hon. Amb. Claver Gatete, Minister of Finance

Institutionalizing the Use of RCT Evidence in Policy
Hosted by the Office of the Prime Minister

Presenters
Emmanuel Bakirdjian, Research Manager, J-PAL Africa
Mary Ann Bates, Policy Manager, J-PAL Global
Anna Yalouris, Policy Associate, J-PAL Africa


DAY TWO: May 22, 2013
The second day of the symposium was hosted in three parallel locations, by the Ministries of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Education, and Health. 

From Evidence to Policy Design: Technical Discussions between Policymakers and J-PAL
Meetings were opened by an overview of the strategic vision for the Ministry for the coming year, including highlights of key indicator targets and top development priorities that relate to the policies discussed during the previous day’s panels. 

The strategic overview presentations were followed by round-table discussions between relevant sector experts from the Government of Rwanda and J-PAL academics and staff, with the goal of outlining how to inform specific policies with the evidence.