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(Audio) Lessons from government evidence partnerships

In this discussion moderated by T. Arthur Chibwana, IDinsight team members Aya Silva, Associate Director along with Alexandra Balafrej, Director II, and Aditi Gupta, Senior Manager share experiences working with government partners in Malawi, the Philippines, Morocco, and India through embedded evidence “learning” partnerships.

Full transcript of the interview:

T. Arthur: Thank you very much, everyone, for making the time. Today, we want to reflect on our work with governments. How do we work with governments, and what have we learned from implementing learning partnerships with governments? Do learning partnerships promise impact? What is it that we’ve learned from implementing learning partnerships that we think can be scaled or other people can use to achieve better impact for their programs working with governments? So we would like to discuss this to focus more on how we can partner with governments and how we can provide support to governments to improve their ability to use evidence in decisions and eventually to outsize the impact of their programs.

My name is T. Arthur Chibwana. I am a Senior Manager at IDinsight and lead IDinsight in Malawi. I have worked with the Government of Malawi implementing the Malawi Learning Partnership, which focuses on enhancing data use, but also improving data-driven approaches to help the government make decisions in social protection that outsize social impact but also end ultra-poverty. I am joined today by several IDinsight leaders who have experienced working with governments in India, Morocco, the Philippines, and myself from Malawi. And we would like to understand our panellists and the work they have done before we can delve into the question today.

We start with Aya.

Aya, could you please introduce yourself and share a little about the government work you’ve done? And one of the biggest successes you can share with us about working with a government partner?

Aya: Thanks so much, Arthur. Great to be here. Hi everyone. My name is Aya Silva. I’m an Associate Director with the Southeast Asia team of IDinsight, based in the Philippines. I’m from the Philippines and have been working with IDinsight for about four years. So the partnership that I was involved in was with the Philippine Department of Health. We started working with them in early 2021 related to COVID vaccines, especially as the vaccine became more available. We worked closely with a health promotion bureau to improve vaccine demand and uptake. For me, one of the biggest successes I would say in that partnership was building the capacity of our counterparts in government. So we worked with young, very committed, dedicated and smart partners. A lot of them were medical doctors by training, so very competent, but there were some gaps in doing action-oriented research in particular and translating evidence to policy. Although that is somewhat intangible as a success measure, throughout our engagement, I felt that we were able to contribute to building that capacity for evidence-informed decision-making.

Of course, a lot of this is a credit to them themselves, but we were able to strengthen their capacities on some of the skills that we have that we could be able to impart to them with things like designing good survey methodologies, crafting good instruments, so forth, and, then really be able to absorb that and apply that to their work.

T. Arthur: Thank you so much, Aya. Over to you, Alexandra, could you also please introduce yourself and share with us what you have done with governments, but also what you would term as a success working with government partners.

Alexandra: Thank you, T. Arthur. I’m Alexandra Balafrej. I’m the Country Director at IDinsight in Morocco. I’m based in Rabat, where we’ve been working since 2019, and we established a permanent office last year. So it’s interesting because the success that I’d like to share is, in a way, quite similar to the one that Aya just shared. As part of the large Learning Partnership we have with the Government of Morocco, and through the work and support we provided our counterparts, they became increasingly convinced that they had to have more internal resources – qualified resources – to deal with data and evidence and that they had to create or reinforce M&E departments and hire more people to conduct or supervise studies and research that will inform policy decisions. And we work now with government counterparts that have more people internally that can support decision-makers at the highest level and help them make policy decisions based on evidence. So this is really a sign to us that our work, our advocacy work, is having a sustainable impact on the government organizations we work with. And as Aya said, it’s their achievement, but in a way, we pushed them to be able to do that and to have the capacity to do that. And we operate in a Francophone context where stakeholders tend to be a bit less familiar with evidence-based policy, so we really saw that with my teammates as a key success of this Learning Partnership. Over to you, T. Arthur.

T. Arthur: Thank you so much. And finally, Aditi, can you please introduce yourself and share with us what you’ve been doing with governments and any major success you can share with us from you working with a  government partner.

Aditi: Thanks, T. Arthur. Hi everyone. My name is Aditi Gupta, and I am a Senior Manager with the IDinsight India office. I have been with IDinsight for the last three years and am based out of New Delhi.

A lot of my work over the last three years has been with the state governments of Rajasthan, Delhi, and now Punjab. And, also with the Central Government think tank, where we supported them in thinking about capacity building, and data systems use.

Interestingly, my success, which I wanted to talk about, is also very similar to what Aya and Alexandra said. So I recall an instance from when we were working with a nodal officer on this state partnership. And we’ve been working with this nodal officer for a couple of months, and we were in one of our review meetings where she very casually mentioned that IDinsight has been very useful in terms of building her data capacity. The way she looks at data now is totally different from how she was looking at it months ago. So she started to use data more and encourages her team members to use them more in their decision-making. So that definitely encourages us and, you know, motivates us in terms of the capacity which we are building for our clients. And, sometimes, in terms of the larger social impact goals, that is one of the more intermediate or, the smaller term impacts, which is visible.

T. Arthur: Thank you very much. From all your responses, one thing that I can pick that is very common is capacity building and working with the government partners to influence evidence and data use in decision making. Why is this very important in our work with governments? I will start with Alexandra and then Aditi, and then we will finish with Aya.

Alexandra: In my opinion, the idea is that we tend to work in a context where policymakers still make decisions, you know, very often without evidence to inform these decisions, and that results in a lack of efficacy, less impact of these policies and issues in implementation. And the variety of the tools that we propose at IDinsight can really help decision-makers alleviate these issues and really get the evidence that they need at the time they need to inform those decisions. So that all these public policies have increased impact and target the beneficiaries, they are supposed to target, et cetera. So I think that’s the main reason in my view.

T. Arthur: Thank you so much, and Aditi, what is your take on that?

Aditi: In the last decade or so of the development sector, much evidence has been generated, especially in more mature sectors of health, education, nutrition, etc. Again, I’m talking in the context of India. So, here we have a lot of evidence that exists, and now I think the focus, which even IDinsight India is trying to divert to, is towards using that evidence.

So a lot of our work is actually going into making use of that existing evidence and converting it into digestible information, which the governments can use to make decisions on. And that is why I think it is really important to be able to use that and to be able to form policies based on what already exists.

T. Arthur: Thank you very much, and Aya?

Aya: Definitely agree with what Alexandra and Aditi have said. And what I would add is that I think in the context of the work that we were doing – where we can think of this as a sort of emergency response – where rapid information is needed to make decisions and for government although, of course, they have many different factors to consider in making decisions, data is one of them. And, what often is lacking is not really the willingness to use data and evidence. It’s the lack of timely data and evidence. As I was saying, for example, in an emergency situation, it’s often difficult to get the right, high-quality data within the timelines where they need to make decisions. And often, it’s quite overwhelming to try to get data. And so the type of work that we do and how we work with governments is that we try to really distil what kind of important data is needed and what can actually really inform decisions and lead to action. So I think that really helps governments focus on just some of the key areas and not be surrounded by different types of data and information that ultimately don’t help in making decisions.

So not just having all sorts of data and evidence, but that aspect of being able to distil those into relevant and action-oriented findings and recommendations is key to being able to inform decisions.

T. Arthur: Thank you very much. Very interesting points there. From what you’ve been saying, I understand that as much as we want to build capacity, we want to make it easy for governments to access and use data for the decisions that they have to make. And one of the things that are very critical is timeliness in terms of the availability of data to allow governments to make sound decisions.

I just wanted to know what some of the tactics that you’ve been able to use to get governments buy-in, build their trust, but also to make sure that they recognize the efforts that you are you’re doing or putting in place in order for them to be able to use the data and evidence that you provide, or you are helping them access. So are there any tactics that you have been able to use? I’ll start with Aditi.

Aditi: I don’t think there are any specific new things I’d like to highlight, but I’d like to highlight some things that work in all contexts, especially for building trust and getting that buy-in. Number one is setting strong communication channels and being available in person as much as possible. So, meeting your counterpart as much as possible and being able to communicate your thoughts very clearly is one of the most important things to get their trust in. One of the things they do is develop relationships with officers at all levels, starting from the senior-most to the junior-most, and even including their assistants and executives in order to be able to get in and out of their offices very quickly and as much as possible.

And second, I want to say that the projects should also focus a lot on the post-project aspect of their work, which is around the communication and dissemination of your results. And that actually helps bring more visibility to your work and can reinforce the buy-in from your immediate stakeholders and the outside community, which contributes to creating that advocacy for your results and recommendations.

T. Arthur: Thank you very much. And Aya, what have you used to make sure that there’s strong buy-in and trust and that governments can utilize or access the evidence and data that is provided before them?

Aya: Similar to what Aditi said, communication is really important. So we had set up weekly calls with our counterparts and biweekly calls with key decision-makers to ensure that we were on their radar. Our work was particularly difficult because we had to do it remotely. So we couldn’t even be in the offices of our partners, but maintaining good and regular communication was essential. And then what I’ll add is also on the relational aspect of the engagement where I think it was really important for us to build trust by listening to their needs and having honest conversations. And I say that because with our counterparts, they were dealing with many external partners who were coming in with a specific agenda already in mind and specific recommendations and interventions that were not always relevant to our counterparts. And so in us being able to build that relationship of trust, where in particular, we allowed them to push back on us and actually shape our engagement and really allow them to say no to us and some of our ideas allowed them to be more comfortable in being able to trust us, and us trusting them as well. And I think that was really important. And having honest conversations, for example, how we would not try to sell ourselves too much, we were honest about what we can and cannot do with them, which demonstrates that we have their best interest in mind, which allows them to open up to us with issues that they’re facing, that we can really try to solve together.

And I joke about this, but it’s kind of true when our partners start saying that, “hey, like off the record so, and so this is the situation, this is what’s happening,” that to me is a really good indicator that we’ve really built that trust that they can open up to us and can really see how we have their best interest in mind.

T. Arthur: Thank you very much. What would be your take Alexandra?

Alexandra: Of course, as Aya and Aditi said, communication is super important. I won’t get back on that point, but I’d like to build on what Aya just said about honesty. I won’t talk about tactics but what I see as a certain mindset and how we make sure that our values are at work daily in the Learning Partnership through humility, honesty, and quality.

For quality, of course, it goes without saying that if a partner trusts us with an activity, a project, they have to know – and especially in a Learning Partnership, when we have multiple engagements at the same time, multiple work streams, etc. They have to know that they will have quality work, quality evidence, and data that can truly inform their decisions, and that type of trust that we’re building also relies on consistent quality in our work. And they have to know that they will get good work. So I think that’s pretty basic, but also very important.

About honesty, really, I strongly agree with what Aya just said. Admitting when you don’t know something or when you can’t do something is critical in building that trust. And building trust in the relationship is not about pleasing a client, but being, really, a thought partner, that they can rely on to discuss hot topics. They have to know that they can trust you with confidential information, speaking of the record, and as Aya said, allowing them to push back on us and us doing the same. So honesty really will go a long way toward building a solid and trustful relationship and trustful partnership.

I would add to that, maybe humility because, for example with the Learning Partnership with Moroccan Government. At the beginning of our relationship, it was very clear that our potential government partner at the time had multiple needs and a lot of ambitions with high stake objectives. We could have gone in multiple directions, but we proposed to work first on a three-month inception phase to see if we could be the ones really responding to their needs. If there would be a good fit between their organization and ours if we could develop a shared vision, establish common goals, and agree on where we should focus on our efforts to maximize the impact. And it was important in that three-month short inception phase for us not to assume that we would tell them what they should do, but really work on finding out what their needs were, how actually they could do what they wanted to do, and not pretend that we will solve all their issues. They have to deal with very complex issues, and this is precisely the interest of a Learning Partnership to be able to get into the complexity of each subject that government organizations have to deal with. I think that this approach, based on humility, in my opinion, has been critical to building that trust and being that thoughtful partner that our government counterparts need.

T. Arthur: Thank you very much. Those are very, very important points. As far as working with government partners is concerned. I draw from your responses, all of you, that for us to make a better impact, you have to be relevant. Listening to the needs of the government, find very closely what is it they care about? What kind of decisions do they want to make, and then being responsive to their needs based on our understanding of what they’re sharing. And I like the idea or your point, Alexandra, about having a clear inception phase where you develop an understanding of the key questions the government partners have. Then you generate solutions that would enable them to answer those questions.

As we all understand, learning partnership tends to be flexible, and government priorities tend to evolve a lot. So, one issue that may be a priority today may not be a higher priority next month. How have you been able to navigate through changing government priorities to still be responsive and provide the data and evidence they need to make decisions? I will start with you, Aya, then Alexandra and Aditi.

Aya: You know this is something that’s not very easy to navigate, but there were a few things we did to ensure that we did stay on course of achieving social impact.

One is to regularly check in on the relevance of our activities as we go along, understanding that priorities evolve and that the context also changes, so just checking in on what we’ve laid out. So, for example, let’s say the phases of our work and whether that still makes sense in the current context with the decisions they need to make.

The second is that we just have to be two steps ahead. Thinking about not just the issues that might be relevant today but also what might be more relevant in the future, several months down the road and maybe in that way mitigate the risk of the scope changing too much if you’re attending to just the most urgent and immediate concerns, and not have the ones later on.

And then I think the third is being creative in marrying our own goals and theirs and how to structure it so that it’s most productive. So one example of evolving priorities where the shifts weren’t ideal is that the first phase needed an assessment of the work we were doing. And as we found results and shared them for the needs assessment, it opened up more questions where another needs assessment was actually what the government wanted. Initially, we thought that we would be able to already move on and test the interventions. And what we did was that we tried to bridge those two needs and identify where we could dig a little deeper, but structure the second phase to be more targeted towards designing an intervention instead of doing more needs assessments. That was a way for us to still address what needs they have and what they identify as their priorities with also what we envision as our pathway to social impact.

T. Arthur: Thank you so much, Alexandra; what is your take on that?

Alexandra: I think that one way to navigate, as I have said it’s always difficult to navigate through evolving government priorities, but being embedded and having that close relationship. That trust we built and talked about before helps us better understand where, how, and when these priorities will evolve.

So being an insider in one way or another helps us be in the loop and maybe allows us to be maybe less surprised by the possible evolution or shift in priorities, but it always happens. And then there are also changes, turnover of government staff, and changes in governments. I think one way to navigate this, which is also related to what we discussed before about communication, is about talking often about it with our counterparts. What if there is that change? What if the minister changes? How can we make things sustainable? Where do you think this should go? Think about the different options in terms of priorities. And being truly candid about it in those conversations with our government counterparts so that they (because sometimes they can be taken by surprise by a shifting priority) be on board with them and think about all the options and communicating a lot about it.

I would add to that, that I feel in a way that IDinsight has developed a real diversity of tools. We have this large toolbox that allows us (and we have staff that are really well trained on all these tools) to proactively respond and quickly respond to this shift in priorities, using the right tool for a challenge that just emerged—proposing to reposition ourselves if needed to and to respond to those needs. And also sometimes push back when there is a shift in priority and when our government forgets some part of the work we did as part of the Learning Partnership and now have to focus on something else.

We can then remind them that you make the most out of all the investments that you’ve done so far in terms of capacity, in terms of focus, etc. So, I think there is no one way but multiple ways to try to navigate through government priorities.

T. Arthur: I have a small follow-up. When pushing back, how do you frame the message to ensure that – because the government is coming to you for solutions, ideas, data, and evidence, it means they have trusted you. How do you frame the message to say, this is indeed a priority, but we have to be in this kind of balance. How do you frame that to make sure that they understand your pressures and, at the same time, you don’t hurt the relationship or trust there?

Alexandra: That’s a very good point and question, and it relies on the trust you’ve built, what we were talking about before, and being a thought partner is sometimes about having those difficult conversations. But, I think it’s not just about framing the message. I think it’s about, in one way, also having the evidence, bringing the strong arguments and showing why we feel that we should push back or that going into that direction might not be what’s the most strategic or the most relevant or not the priority that the government should focus on. So we prepare arguments, and I think it’s a demonstration. We want to get the buy-in as well about that. So it’s a mix, I would say, about communication, crafting the message right. In some ways, we try to be diplomats in our work and our daily relationships with our counterparts, but at the same time, really bringing evidence and the arguments that will back our point of view and perspective. I hope that answers part of your question.

Aditi: So, going to the previous question, I think Aya and Alexander have already covered a lot. The one thing our team adopted to navigate through the changing and updating priorities of governments was to have a flexible mindset internally for our team to continue with the morale and be able to respond in a way suitable for not just the government but us as well.

We tried to create a flexible team structure internally, where certain capacity and resources were assigned to some urgent priority tasks, which used to come in almost on a regular basis. And then, there were certain resources booked for the long-term social impact goals, which we had set at the beginning of the project so that we do not deviate from those. So to minimize the impact on the team, this was the kind of approach that worked for us in most cases.

T. Arthur: This is really interesting. I have another follow-up, a general question. I think anyone can answer it. With these changing government priorities that you’re going to face as you implement programs, what are the ways in which you would measure the success and impact of the Government Partnership that you have beyond just deliverables? When you’re studying the learning partnership, you have broader goals. You want to achieve some things, but now there are changes that are happening. You have to adapt to those updating changes as well. How do you factor in impact measurement in this case, and how do you ensure you’re still staying on course?

Alexandra: I’ll try to have a short answer. I think, and we can talk a bit more about that, but looking precisely at the fact and how and if they convert our recommendations into actions is very important. However, this is not something that is always easy and not necessarily in the timeframe that we expect but is suddenly a point of interest for the Learning Partnerships. I think that, more importantly, and to the risk of repeating myself, based on your first question, the fact that we can build long-term and sustainable capacity within government, I think is something that is important to look at precisely and find ways to measure that. Because it’s critical to have government partners and staff that can deal with evidence and advocate with other government bodies about using evidence to inform decisions, I’ll give you an example, there is a new ministry now that is adopting approaches based on evidence to inform a certain public policy, and they are doing it just because some of the government partners that we work with in the first place actually convinced them to do so. So there is this sort of contagion between government bodies about this type of a push. To me that that’s a way to measure the success and impact of our government learning partnerships.

T. Arthur: Thanks, Alexandra, and how about you, Aya?

Aya: I think the two major ones from what Alexandra just said. First is the adoption of recommendations, and then the second is the capacity we’ve built. So, I’m not going to repeat those. One thing I’ll add in terms of process is that these learning partnerships are meant to be flexible. So, I would consider a measure of success also is how responsive and relevant is our work for our partners, given that we are allowed to and encouraged to pivot along the way, which is, sometimes, I can consider a luxury to have compared to fixed-scope projects. So, taking advantage of that setup and being flexible, responsive, and relevant, I think, is a key feature of learning partnerships that I would also use to measure the success of how we’ve been engaging with governments.

T. Arthur: Thanks, Aya, and Aditi, any take?

Aditi: A small thing to add to the main point, which we all agree on, is the use or uptake of our recommendations since that’s a long-term goal. Maybe it’s beyond the timeline of the learning partnership, and it’s useful at some point to have intermediate checks or like intermediate success measurements between those time posts to check and get a sense of how the team is performing or how the project is going. So, for example, if one of the recommendations is now on government filing systems and has been notified to an internal department, then that’s a small tick mark, and it will take some time to get converted into a program or a policy but we are on track. And similarly, any budgetary announcements, which are on the way to link to that, all that point to smaller success metrics to the actual update of the recommendations and tracking some of those can also be useful within the timeframe.

T. Arthur: Thank you so much for your responses. And, now I will ask my last question, which is more reflective. What message would you share with yourself if you were to go back in time to start a new government partnership project? Aditi, I’ll start with you this time around.

Aditi: Three things which mainly come from IDinsight values. The first is being humble. Bring in that humility when you speak to your partners. They have been in the field for a long time and have the best information about the subject they’re dealing with.

The second is being completely present, as I was talking about communications earlier. So completely being present, embedded, and collaboratively working with them is really important.

And lastly, being a good listener. Again, as I said earlier, they have a lot of good thoughts and good understanding, and just being a good listener in the room can improve the way you think about the offering or the project you are going to set up with them. So I think these three things are really useful when you begin any new partnership.

T. Arthur: Thank you so much. How about your Aya? What would be your message to yourself?

Aya: Very similar to Aditi. So, first is being humble and trusting our partners and knowing that they know best about their context and situation and what might actually work or not work. So, while we come in with some expertise, it’s also important to listen to them and trust them.

The second is being able to be fully immersed. This, for me, also means listening to what is both said and unsaid and also getting a pulse of what are the things that are going on outside and being creative, kind of beyond the specific tasks that you’re working on—and just staying plugged in with our partners to what might be going on outside of our specific engagement, by where we can maybe, find synergies or be able to leverage things to make our work more effective. And then the third, I would say, is really embracing this idea of learning partnerships and being open to evolving needs in the rapidly changing context. While that might sound like a challenge to be flexible and adapt to evolving needs. I actually really enjoy that because it’s such a luxury to be able to work in that way. As I was saying earlier, a lot of projects come with a fixed scope where we are tied to the research questions, the methodologies that we need to do, and if it’s defined really strictly, we have to stick to it or else like we would be considered to not fulfil our obligations in the contract. So then, the beauty of this Learning Partnership set-up is that it’s designed to be flexible, and having that flexibility goes a long way in achieving social impact. So, I would tell myself to enjoy that and embrace that flexibility.

T. Arthur: Thanks, and how about you, Alexandra?

Alexandra: I think very similarly to what Aditi and Aya said. First, I would (and about what Aditi said about being present) probably say to myself, get your team to spend as much time as possible from the get-go with the staff of our partner organization and make the most out of being embedded. We did that. We’re still doing it, but maybe not as much as we should have, especially in the early stages of our partnership. Of course, COVID didn’t help. But, the pandemic did not slow us down in our work, but it changed how we worked with remote meetings and us being defacto or less embedded, less present doing less in-person work. But, being embedded doesn’t just mean having an office in a government building. As Aditi said, it’s really actually about spending time working together on a daily basis. We show how we do things, doing things together with government staff, facing challenges they face, resolving those or addressing them together. And the result of all that really is co-ownership and increased capacity of government staff, which leads to more sustainability and long-term impact. And I would also say to myself and to my teams to be patient. I think we talked about the relationship that the learning partnership has to have and maintain with time. We said that building trust takes time. We need to deeply understand the government’s constraints, in particular time constraints, political cycles and all that. But we often see, and we touched on that a little bit earlier, but we often see that our recommendations don’t convert into actions immediately but much later than expected. And I really see that as the journey of our recommendations. Our research and work often show a pathway and provide guidance, and I am more for these intermediary success metrics mentioned before. When we share our recommendations, sometimes it’s really about planting the seeds. And actual growth for that idea or action can take time and depend on the interaction of many factors. And in some cases, we’ll have to wait for months or years to harvest the real fruit of that labour. And that’s okay. That is part of the potential long-term impact of Learning Partnerships. So being patient and cognizant of the fact that these things take time within government, even if there is strong willingness from our government counterparts.

T. Arthur: Thank you very much. Those are really, really important points. I would draw from my experience as well. If I were to start a government partnership project, I think I would tell myself to enjoy the journey more. I would celebrate small wins because the small wins accumulate into the bigger ones.

In fact, we have to because our learning partnerships tend to have evolving priorities. We also have to evolve. We have to evolve and evolve and be more relevant to respond to the important needs. So are there any points or maybe one point from each one of you that you think is also very important for our listener to know about learning partnerships and what makes them tick? Any point that may be remaining from your list of things to say?

Alexandra: For me, these are the most interesting types of partnerships that I’ve ever had to conduct. It’s really rewarding and enjoyable, I would say, on a daily basis. These are partnerships where we have a lot of opportunities for growth for our staff in terms of professional development and the professional development of our counterparts. So, this is probably the most rewarding part, and that’s why I really like Learning Partnerships.

Aditi: I have almost a similar take. Even though these are very difficult and have a long-term outlook to achieve the social impact goals, these are the most impactful ways of conducting partnerships in which I have been involved so far. So, even though it takes a lot of time, it is rewarding, and ultimately as the government is the biggest implementer of social welfare programs, whenever they are involved, and it is in an embedded fashion, it leads to results, but you just have to wait longer. But, personally, it has been very fulfilling and rewarding to work on such state partnerships.

T. Arthur: Thank you very much. I will go back to you, Aya.

Aya: Building on what both Alexandra and Aditi said, I really wish we could do this more. As they said, these are some of the most rewarding projects and a really good way to engage and amplify our social impact, and I wish we could do this more. And, I would say that what we actually try to do is that even if we are not technically like in a learning partnership with a partner, we try to emulate the spirit of a learning partnership and try to integrate the idea of flexibility and responsiveness to evolving needs as much as we can, even when challenges in things like procurement and funding, don’t allow us to actually have that very open mandate at the beginning with a long term partnership—but trying to like create and like almost copy that spirit of learning partnerships in other projects as well, because I do think that it is a very powerful way to engage with government, but also just partners in general where we can be more flexible looking at the longer term, rather than just be focused on one aspect and the short term goals.

T. Arthur: Thank you very much, Aya and indeed Alexandra and Aditi. This has been a very interesting conversation on how we can work with governments in learning partnerships. As we have seen, learning partnerships are very important. They are unique in all ways, and as such, we must ensure that we are responsive to evolving needs. We are building capacity in the government teams to make sure they’re able to do certain things, but also build stronger relationships to ensure that recommendations that we are providing to the government are making their way to the decision table so that we can influence decisions.

Remember, our goal is simple, we want to improve lives with data and evidence, and I believe that learning partnerships are a way to improve the lives of millions of people worldwide. Thank you very much to All our panellists. We’ve come to the end of our program. Thank you.