Improving how your organisation supports the use of research evidence to inform policymaking

by Andrew D Oxman, Per Olav Vandvik, John N Lavis, Atle Fretheim, Simon Lewin | Dec 16, 2009

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Abstract

In this article, we address ways of organising efforts to support evidence-informed health policymaking. Efforts to link research to action may include a range of activities related to the production of research that is both highly relevant to - and appropriately synthesised for - policymakers. Such activities may include a mix of efforts used to link research to action, as well as the evaluation of such efforts.

Little is known about how best to organise the range of activity options available and, until recently, there have been relatively few organisations responsible for supporting the use of research evidence in developing health policy.

We suggest five questions that can help guide considerations of how to improve organisational arrangements to support the use of research evidence to inform health policy decision making. These are:

  1. What is the capacity of your organisation to use research evidence to inform decision making?
  2. What strategies should be used to ensure collaboration between policymakers, researchers and stakeholders?
  3. What strategies should be used to ensure independence as well as the effective management of conflicts of interest?
  4. What strategies should be used to ensure the use of systematic and transparent methods for accessing, appraising and using research evidence?
  5. What strategies should be used to ensure adequate capacity to employ these methods?