The Rt Hon Ms Nelly B.K Mutti, MP, Speaker of the National Assembly of Zambia, on Tuesday, 20th September, 2022, launched the first ever Research Awareness Weekat Parliament Buildings, under the theme “Scaling up the use of evidence among Parliamentarians”. The inaugural 2022 Research Awareness Week is scheduled to run from Tuesday, 20th to Thursday, 22nd September, 2022.

Speaking during the launch, Madam Speaker called upon Members of Parliament to utilise the services of the Research Department to ensure that they debated from an informed position rather than relying on personal opinions or political stand-points. Further,Madam Speaker reminded Members that the use of evidence was the lifeblood of Parliaments and fundamental in the performance of its core functions. She implored Hon Members to effectively take advantage of the initiative undertaken by the Research Department to enhance their ability in providing effective checks and balances to the Executive. In launching the Research Awareness Week, Madam Speaker also officially unveiled the publication, ‘’An Insight into the Evolution of the Zambian Parliament’’,published by the Research Department of the National Assembly of Zambia. The book is aimed at providing the public with valuable information on the evolution of the Zambian Parliament from 1924 to-date.

Meanwhile, Ms Beatrice Mutali, the United Nations Resident Coordinator, in her remarks stated that the United Nations (UN) System valued research and considered it an integral part of development efforts. She emphasised that through various Agencies and Think Tanks, the UN System conducted focused policy-relevant research that offers objective and science-based perspectives that contribute to policy debate and development. Speaking at the same event, MrMulengaMusepa, the Acting Statistician General, Zambia Statistics Agency (ZamStats)called upon all Members of Parliament to take keen interest in the work of Zamstatsthat produces current and verifiable information. He thanked the National Assembly of Zambia for enacting the Statistics Act No.13 of 2018, which mandates the Agency with the sole responsibility of publishing official statistics. He furtherencouraged MPs to consider establishing a Parliamentary Caucus on Statistics with the aim of promoting evidence use.

The 2022 National Assembly of Zambia Research Awareness Week hasattracted seven (7) external exhibitors which includethe UN System in Zambia,the Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR), the Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute (IAPRI), the Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR), the Institute of Economic and Social Research (INESOR) and Oxfam Southern Africa(Zambia). The event has made possible through financial and technical support provided by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).