Background:Parliamentarians through their oversight function have the power to debate and shape national policy, adopt and formulate laws and earmark resources for implementation of such legislation and government programmes.
Objectives:A major concern has been on how parliamentarians can get up-to-date, timely and reliable information on different issues that affect the country to enable evidence-based legislation.
Methods: The Parliament of Uganda has put in place a number of initiatives to facilitate multi-actor dialogue that has increased citizen engagement. These are: a memorandum of understanding between parliament and CSOs, daily access to the order paper, participation in national functions like the budget reading and state of the nation address, first point of contact during Parliamentary outreach programmes, access to adopted reports of Parliament, attendance of plenary and committee meetings, involvement in bill and policy analysis, capacity building of members and committees of Parliament, submission of petitions to Parliament on issues of concern, budget prioritisation, submission of position papers to Parliament committees, participation in Parliament week and social media engagements.
Results:A number of actors are involved in evaluations and hence critical suppliers of evidence. Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Uganda typically collect vital information on different sectors on a daily basis. The academia and professional bodies in Uganda have played a big role in using to support advocacy for better policies, budgets and call for accountability in service delivery.
Conclusions:A multi-actor dialogue is key in building the capacity of citizens to play informed roles and expand their political engagement and space. These initiatives are strong avenues for ensuring evidence use in parliament.
This paper shares the experience of the Parliament of Uganda in using evidence to nurture multi-actor (CSOs, academia and professional bodies) dialogue in the public sector hence promoting shared decision making.