A tool for evidence-informed health policy

12 January 2010

The December supplement of the journal Health Research Policy and Systems is dedicated to a series of articles describing a set of tools designed by the SUPporting POlicy relevant Reviews and Trials (SUPPORT) project (see news source). The tools they have produced are aimed at helping policymakers ensure that their decisions are informed by the best research evidence. SUPPORT is an international collaboration with partners in Africa, South America, Europe and North America with an objective to provide training and support to encourage researchers and policymakers in collaborative policy-relevant research.

Each article proposes a tool and addresses four broad categories:

  • Supporting evidence-informed policymaking
  • Identifying needs for research evidence in relation to three steps in policymaking processes, namely problem clarification, options framing, and implementation planning
  • Finding and assessing both systematic reviews and other types of evidence to inform these steps.
  • Going from research evidence to decisions

Typical scenarios have been designed and presented in each article to encourage readers to use the tools described and to help them to decide on the relevant level of detail they require. The authors state that many of the issues and opportunities encountered are similar across setting, thus the tools can be used in a range of settings from low to high income countries. Some of these tools have already been used extensively in the field and have been developed further based on these experiences. Although the tools have been targeted at policy makers and those who support them, they may also be relevant to others such as non-governmental organisations and civil societies.

More from us

Genomics and policy news