WHO and University College London Launch Project to Boost Evidence-Informed Policy-Making

In collaboration with the Evidence for Policy & Practice Information and Coordination Centre (EPPI-Centre) at University College London and the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR), the World Health Organization (WHO) is embarking on a pioneering project to pilot a checklist for the institutionalization of evidence-informed policy-making (EIPM).

This checklist, developed in 2023, serves as a valuable tool to aid countries in planning, monitoring, evaluating, and enhancing their EIPM institutionalization processes. Despite its potential, this tool has seen limited real-world application, prompting the need to assess its practicality and validity.

Funded by the Geneva Science Policy Interface, this project will introduce the checklist in two countries located in the WHO European Region and the Americas. These nations were selected due to their diverse geographical locations and varying degrees of progress in EIPM institutionalization. The pilot project’s objectives include evaluating the evidence ecosystem for EIPM in both countries, gauging the current state of institutionalization, outlining key measures to fortify existing institutions, and garnering valuable feedback from stakeholders regarding the checklist’s utility and efficiency. This initiative is set to run from October 2023 to September 2024.

The pilot study will be conducted in two phases. The first phase involves conducting a comprehensive situational analysis, akin to an exploratory mission. This will be accomplished through methods such as a scoping review, focus group discussions, and interviews with key informants. This phase aims to provide an overview of the national context, the healthcare system, and the EIPM landscape within each country.

The second phase will be more interactive and center around a participatory workshop held in each respective country. The primary goal is to ascertain the stage of institutionalization and the necessary actions within the six domains outlined in the WHO checklist. It also seeks input from participants regarding the checklist’s effectiveness.

At the culmination of this phase, each country will have a collaborative plan in place. This plan will encompass key actions pertaining to each domain or stage, identify key stakeholders, and analyze the facilitators and barriers to advancing to the next stage of institutionalization.

This WHO-led initiative extends beyond mere improvements to policy-making processes. It strives to make these processes more streamlined, impactful, and equitable. Ultimately, it is about translating aspirations into tangible outcomes, thereby making a meaningful impact on people’s lives.

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