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

Using research evidence in balancing the pros and cons of policies

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

Full text | PDF


In this article, we address the use of evidence to inform judgements about the balance between the pros and cons of policy and programme options. We suggest five questions that can be considered when making these judgements. These are:

  1. What are the options that are being compared?
  2. What are the most important potential outcomes of the options being compared?
  3. What is the best estimate of the impact of the options being compared for each important outcome?
  4. How confident can policymakers and others be in the estimated impacts?
  5. Is a formal economic model likely to facilitate decision making?