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

Engaging the public in evidence-informed policymaking

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

Full text | PDF


In this article, we address strategies to inform and engage the public in policy development and implementation. The importance of engaging the public (both patients and citizens) at all levels of health systems is widely recognised. They are the ultimate recipients of the desirable and undesirable impacts of public policies, and many governments and organisations have acknowledged the value of engaging them in evidence-informed policy development. The potential benefits of doing this include the establishment of policies that include their ideas and address their concerns, the improved implementation of policies, improved health services, and better health. Public engagement can also be viewed as a goal in itself by encouraging participative democracy, public accountability and transparency.

We suggest three questions that can be considered with regard to public participation strategies. These are:

  1. What strategies can be used when working with the mass media to inform the public about policy development and implementation?
  2. What strategies can be used when working with civil society groups to inform and engage them in policy development and implementation?
  3. What methods can be used to involve consumers in policy development and implementation?