Scientific research regularly results in certain insights or conclusions applicable to health policy issues. But in order to reap the benefits of these scientific insights and conclusions, they need to be acted on by those with the power to do so. There are substantial barriers to using research evidence to inform health policymaking processes, especially in low- and middle-income countries where some communication channels are still emerging and where many health systems are overburdened and under resourced.
The Evidence-Informed Policy Network (EVIPNet) program is a WHO-sponsored initiative to support linking research to action in low- and middle-income countries. EVIPNet activities encompass a wide array of strategies to support evidence-informed policy making.
- Production efforts seek to generate scientific information on important national health policy issues.
- Push strategies focus on packaging and communicating research evidence in ways that can be easily understood by policy makers.
- Efforts to facilitate uptake of research by policy makers (facilitating user pull) seek to establish simple, effective mechanisms for users to retrieve research evidence when they need it.
- User pull initiatives are mechanisms to prompt the use of evidence that are developed by policymakers themselves.
- Exchange efforts give researchers and policy makers the opportunity to ask and answer questions together about important national health policy issues