Ruth Stewart


Director, Africa Centre for Evidence, University of Johannesburg


“I am thrilled that the global evidence community is coming to Africa for this exciting conference. It gives us a chance to show off the great work that is taking place across the continent, to learn from one another, and to grow our networks. I’m looking forward to meeting new people, reconnecting with friends and colleagues from past events, and finding new and exciting ways of working together to ensure that evidence-informed decision making becomes a reality.”

Professor Ruth Stewart is dedicated to using her time, skills and experience to reducing poverty and inequality. She has for 20 years worked across traditional boundaries with a wide range of people within the evidence ecosystem towards her goal of ensuring that evidence is both useful and used. She firmly believes that only by working together can we make evidence-informed decision-making  a reality. Having grown up in Malawi, she studied in the United Kingdom and has worked in South Africa since 1998, as well as with University College London’s EPPI-Centre. Her work includes the production of evidence for decision makers, as well as supporting public servants to access and make sense of research. She has a background in the social sciences, and has worked across academia and government, with a commitment to engage with stakeholders in her research using a wide range of approaches. She has worked on the production of systematic reviews, rapid evidence assessments and evidence maps to inform decision making. Ruth is the Director of the University of Johannesburg’s Africa Centre for Evidence and Chairperson of the Africa Evidence Network, a network of over 1000 people from nearly 40 countries, including members of 20 governments in Africa.

Plenary title: Do evidence networks make a difference? 

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