First Lady Fazna Ahmed attended on Monday the opening of the sixth edition of the 'Theveli 2023' International Conference, organised by the Maldives National University's (MNU) Research Development Office. The conference will take place from August 21-22, 2023, and this year's theme is 'Research for Informed Policy Decisions.'

The conference provides a platform for experts and leaders from various fields to discuss and share ideas on important issues. By fostering dialogue and collaboration, the conference aims to promote evidence-based decision-making and support the development of effective policies.

During the inaugural ceremony, the First Lady stressed the importance of research in making informed policy decisions. She stated that research is the cornerstone of the decision-making process, providing valuable insights and data to guide policymakers. 

The First Lady emphasised the importance of research in this process, highlighting its ability to provide a systematic and evidence-based approach to understanding complex problems and evaluating potential solutions. She added that by utilising research, individuals can make informed decisions and develop effective strategies for addressing their challenges.

Underscoring the role of research in supporting effective policy-making, the First Lady highlighted how research can help identify the most pressing issues and inform the development of policies that address these challenges. In the Maldives, for example, the First Lady noted that equitable development across all inhabited islands is only possible through thoroughly understanding local needs and using research to support policy decisions.

The First Lady also stressed the importance of clear and effective communication between academics, technical experts, and policymakers. She underlined that good communication is essential for ensuring research findings are accurately conveyed and effectively applied in decision-making. By fostering collaboration and dialogue between these groups, the First Lady believes that more effective policies can be developed to address the challenges facing the Maldives and other countries.

In her concluding remarks, the First Lady urged voters to use the upcoming presidential elections this year as an opportunity to conduct research and make informed decisions. She encouraged individuals to seek information on the candidates and their policies and carefully consider how they would impact their lives. She added that by taking the time to research and compare the various options, voters can make informed choices that reflect their values and priorities.

At the inaugural ceremony, the First Lady presented awards for "Early Career Research" and "Outstanding Papers of the Conference." These awards recognise the exceptional contributions of researchers and academics in their respective fields and highlight the importance of research in advancing knowledge and informing policy decisions.