Speaker of Parliament Richard Msowoya says the newly-developed guidelines for evidence use in decision-making will go a long way in helping members of Parliament understand the importance of using evidence-based research to pass bills.
Speaking at the launch of the guidelines in Lilongwe yesterday, Msowoya said lack of researchers at Parliament has an implication on the output.
“Just imagine we have three researchers servicing 22 committees of Parliament, thus 193 members. You can see the kind of workload they are required to do in order to be of service.
“In that way, a lot of issues can be overlooked or not brought to light because of the few researchers. So, this launch will be a good reference point and it will be of great use for members,” he said.
The African Institute for Development Policy (Afidep) executive director Eliya Zulu said not having enough researchers at Parliament is not good.
He said parliamentarians are the ones who are responsible for policy laws and, if they are not aware of what they are supporting, it could be catastrophic for a nation.
“As Afidep we promote the use of research and other forms of evidence and decision-making, to make sure that parliamentarians are able to address the issues that matter, like what programmes should they put in place, and of course the implications of any decisions which they are undertaking,” he said.
According to Zulu, evidence-based research also helps to compare the best theories with other countries. n