ACE’S MISSION IS TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE REDUCTION OF POVERTY AND INEQUALITY IN AFRICA AND SOUTH AFRICA THROUGH THE USE OF EVIDENCE. WE ARE DRIVEN BY THE VISION OF THE END OF POVERTY AND INEQUALITY IN AFRICA.
The Africa Centre for Evidence (ACE) is a research organisation based at the University of Johannesburg that was founded at the end of 2016. ACE’s mission is to contribute to the reduction of poverty and inequality in Africa and South Africa through the use of evidence. All of ACE’s work is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals and the National Development Plan of South Africa. The ACE team is multi-disciplinary, and provides the secretariat to the Africa Evidence Network. Read our five-year strategy here. At ACE, we are motivated by methodological rigour, innovative thinking, reflective practices, and transparent practices and reporting.
WE LIVE OUR VALUES. ACE IS
Motivated by making a positive, rights-based, and socially-just difference;
Committed to equity and equality;
Focussed on building trust and relationships;
Dedicated to sharing capacity and opportunity;
Respectful of others’ expertise, experience and perspectives;
Committed to zero tolerance for any form of discrimination, harassment, or abuse; and
Unwavering in delivering high-quality work, on time, and to budget.
ACE’s response to COVID-19
ACE supports decision-makers to navigate the uncertainty of large bodies of evidence in systematic and reliable ways. As the world seeks solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic, our team is responding in a number of ways:
(1) We systematically collated a large number of evidence hubs dedicated to COVID-19 response across all sectors which are being produced around the world. In collaboration with McMaster, this dataset is available online as a Living COVID-19 Knowledge Hubs Database. This hub of hubs provides decision-makers and researchers with a one-stop-shop portal to navigate the large number of available evidence databases and repositories related to COVID-19.
(2) We supported colleagues in South African government (specifically the Department for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation) in rapidly collating the evidence base on two topics: (a) on support to small and medium enterprises in the context of COVID-19 and (b) to support the tracking of local and international government policy responses to COVID-19.
(3) Linked to 2b above, we started in 2020 to document the international response to COVID-19 and how it relates to South Africa, as well as South Africa’s specific national response.
(4) We continue to use our relationships with the global evidence communities to make introductions where pertinent, of global experts to colleagues, directly supporting the South African Presidency’s response to COVID-19.
(5) Via the Africa Evidence Network, we started collecting in 2020 and continue collecting examples of how evidence is being used to address a wide range of decisions across Africa, and making them freely available (in English and French).
(6) We shared a series of webinars in 2020 for the evidence community across Africa to share experiences on the use of evidence to tackle issues in a wide range of sectors.
(8) We continue to contribute to global evidence synthesis efforts through our active participation in COVIDEND started in 2020.
(9) In partnership with 3ie and GESI, we established an Evidence Synthesis Response service where specifically decision-makers from low- and middle-income countries were able to access rigorous and timely syntheses to inform their socio-economic COVID-19 policy decisions.
(10) We worked with Africa Check on a project – funded by Konrad Adenauer Stiftung – that sought to understand effective strategies for tackling COVID-19 misinformation on WhatsApp in Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa.
(11) Our Distinguished Visiting Professors, Professor of Practice, Research Associates, and postgraduate students continue to be involved in a number of COVID-19 response initiatives across South Africa and around the world; we continue to support them fully in their endeavours.
(12) We continue to take very seriously our duty of care to our staff and our role in supporting our wider communities through the pandemic.