By Aziza Modise, with support from Natalie Tannous 

This is the final blog post of a series on the history and development of the Africa Centre for Evidence (ACE) that draws on two 2020 research projects. These research projects focus on capturing ACE stakeholders’ perceptions and experiences of ACE’s contribution to evidence-informed decision-making (EIDM). Drawing on interviews among ACE staff (previous and current), members of the Africa Evidence Network (whose Secretariat ACE hosts) (the AEN), and our partners, the stories captured in this series paint a rich picture of ACE’s contribution to the African and South African EIDM space. We aim to publish a new post on the tenth of every month. View the whole series here. 

As the editor for this series, I have enjoyed the way in which storyteller Aziza Modise has woven ACE’s mosaic history into a single storyline. And now, with the final instalment upon us, I’m pleased to have the opportunity to write its introduction.

As someone whose own career is intimately intertwined with the characters in this story, I can personally testify to much of the influence that our portfolio leaders speak of in the videos below. The way in which the ACE team conducts its work with humility and curiosity has meant that we’ve adapted quickly. The emphasis we place on relationships has resulted in team members that have dedicated much of their time before moving on. And the commitment to excellence as seen a reputation for quality work be quickly established.

In conversation with myself Natalie Tannous and series author Aziza Modise, ACE’s portfolio leads Ruth Stewart (art and science of evidence-use), Carina van Rooyen (evidence capacities), Siziwe Ngcwabe (evidence communities and Laurenz Langer (evidence synthesis) discuss below what they believe ACE’s influence has been on the evidence ecosystem, both in South African and across the globe.

We hope you have enjoyed hearing our story, and we look forward to many more adventures #ACEingIt.

What has ACE’s contribution been to the South African EIDM landscape? 

What about ACE’s influence on the global evidence landscape? 

What are you most proud of? 


The views expressed in published blog posts, as well as any errors or omissions, are the sole responsibility of the author/s and do not represent the views of the Africa Centre for Evidence, its executive management, advisory or reference groups, or its funders; nor does it imply endorsement by the afore-mentioned parties. 

Suggested citation

Tannous N & Modise A. 10 November 2021. Blog post: ACEing it beyond five years.  Available at: