This series of 18 articles describes processes for ensuring that relevant research is identified, appraised and used to inform decisions about health policies and programs. The tools were written for people responsible for health policy decision-making (e.g., health system managers and policy-makers) and for those who support them.

CHSRF worked in partnership with the SUPPORT Project to bring you the French version of this series. SUPPORT is an international collaboration network that provides training and support to encourage researchers and policy-makers in collaborative policy-relevant research.

A book version of SUPPORT Tools for evidence-informed health Policymaking (STP) is also available.

Support Tools

Preparing and using policy briefs to support evidence-informed policymaking

by John N Lavis, Govin Permanand, Andrew D Oxman, Simon Lewin, Atle Fretheim | Dec 16, 2009

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Abstract

Policy briefs are a relatively new approach to packaging research evidence for policymakers. The first step in a policy brief is to prioritise a policy issue. Once an issue is prioritised, the focus then turns to mobilising the full range of research evidence relevant to the various features of the issue. Drawing on available systematic reviews makes the process of mobilising evidence feasible in a way that would not otherwise be possible if individual relevant studies had to be identified and synthesised for every feature of the issue under consideration.

In this article, we suggest questions that can be used to guide those preparing and using policy briefs to support evidence-informed policymaking. These are:

  1. Does the policy brief address a high-priority issue and describe the relevant context of the issue being addressed?
  2. Does the policy brief describe the problem, costs and consequences of options to address the problem, and the key implementation considerations?
  3. Does the policy brief employ systematic and transparent methods to identify, select, and assess synthesised research evidence?
  4. Does the policy brief take quality, local applicability, and equity considerations into account when discussing the synthesised research evidence?
  5. Does the policy brief employ a graded-entry format? 6. Was the policy brief reviewed for both scientific quality and system relevance?