Evidence-Informed Policy Network

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Evidence Informed Policy Network (EVIPNet)[1] is a network, sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO), which uses a systems approach to strengthen health systems, by improving the links between policy and the results of scientific research for health, especially in developing countries.

To achieve this, country or regional teams championed by health authorities are organized with key stakeholders, such as policy makers, researchers and representatives from other sectors (e.g. science & technology, education, civil society organizations, patient advocates, topic experts, local networks, etc.). These teams identify and address country priority topics where a perceived need to strengthen the systematic use of research evidence to inform decisions about policies for health has been identified. EVIPNet therefore includes components relevant to research and to development and is expected to help strengthen national health research systems. A collection of videos with interviews describing EVIPNet in Practice is available from the EVIPNet Americas section.[2]

EVIPNet was developed as a response to Resolution 58.2, 4-5 of the World Health Assembly endorsing the "Mexico Statement On Health Research: Knowledge for better health" from the Ministerial Summit on Health Research 2004 where Ministers of Health and delegates called "for national governments to establish sustainable programs to support evidence-based public health and health care delivery systems, and evidence-based health related policies."[3] In resolution 58.34 a call was made "to establish or strengthen mechanisms to transfer knowledge in support of evidence-based public health and health-care delivery systems, and evidence-based health-related policies".

By providing a common purpose to team members EVIPNet facilitates that different sectors jointly address specific priorities and develop and use specific skills to assess research evidence and integrate it into policies. Frequent outputs of EVIPNet teams are policy briefs that integrate evidence with context and values on succinct and helpful documents that inform decisions by high level decision makers. Several EVIPNet teams have already delivered useful relevant outputs such as Policy Briefs and deliverative dialogues that have informed policy at national and local levels.[4][5]

To join EVIPNet country health authorities establish a formal commitment with the Secretariat and develop a work proposal. The Secretariat of EVIPNet is composed by staff from the research policy teams of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva and its Regional Offices. The EVIPNet Secretariat supports country teams so that they produce robust proposals. EVIPNet has Steering Groups (in the regional and global network) and resource groups in each region. These groups work with experts and networks to provide feedback and expertise to the country teams.[6]

The Secretariat works with country teams to identify and address skill needs and deliver targeted capacity building activities in collaboration with networks and partners (e.g. SUPPORT Collaboration, McMaster Health Forum, Cochrane Collaboration, etc.)

In March 2009 the EVIPNet Secretariat presented to WHO’s Advisory Committee on Health Research a capacity building strategy that asssesed through a validated tool the knowledge needs with respect to a defined set of skills for EVIPNet teams, allowing a strategic and organized approach to capacity building.[7] Similarly, WHO Regional Advisory Committees on Health Research monitor progress and provide key guidance to EVIPNet efforts.[8]

EVIPNet, which started as an initiative of the World Health Organization, grew out of discussions at the Ministerial Summit on Health Research held in Mexico City, November 16–20, 2004. Developments relevant to EVIPNet are regularly reported to the Advisory Committee on Health Research of the World Health Organization and of its Regional Offices. EVIPNet has also allowed for the development of customised resources that have helped advance their work and knowledge about health systems research. For example, the SUPPORT Tools for Evidence Informed Policy Making (available in various languages),[9] the Evidence Portal,[10] or the McMaster Database on Health Systems Evidence with >1800 systematic reviews on health systems evidence.

To learn from the experience, evaluate its effects and promote continuous improvement, EVIPNet activities and tools are being evaluated using qualitative and quantitative research methods, and a systems approach.

As EVIPNet expands and develops it has been highlighted as a worthy approach featured in prominent strategy documents addressing development and capacity building for research for health. It remains relevant as reflected in the call to action issued at the Global Ministerial Forum on Research for Health in Bamako in November 2008 by ministers and ministerial representatives from 53 countries.[11] EVIPNet was also featured in at least 12 different presentations at the First Global Symposium on Health Systems Research[12] (Montreux, Switzerland, 2010), and is frequently featured at Colloquiums of the Cochrane and Campbell Collaborations, and Global Forums on Health Research (e.g. Bamako 2008, Havana 2009).[13][14]

PAHO/WHO technical programs[edit]

EVIPNet has also become a tool for PAHO/WHO technical programs offering an integrated approach to technical cooperation; in PAHO/WHO research focal points in country offices are part of EVIPNet teams, and technical programs have adopted EVIPNet methods to provide an integrated technical cooperation.[15]

Further reading[edit]

  1. Hamid M, Bustamante-Manaog T, Viet Dung T, Akkhavong K, Fu H, Ma Y, Zhong X, Salmela R, Panisset U, Pang T. EVIPNet: translating the spirit of Mexico. The Lancet. 2005; 366(9499):1758-1760 doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(05)67709-4[16]
  2. EVIPNet Americas Secretariat, Corkum S, Cuervo LG, Porrás A. EVIPNet Americas: informing policies with evidence. Lancet. 2008 Sep 27;372(9644):1130-1131.[17]
  3. HM Government. Health is global: a UK Government strategy 2008-13. Annex 1. Strengthening the way we develop and use evidence to improve policy and practice. Page 76.[18]
  4. World Health Organization, 124th Session of the Executive Board. WHO's Role and Responsibilities in Health Research: Bamako Global Ministerial Forum on Research for Health. Document EB124/12 Add.2. January 2009.[11]


  1. ^ "Evidence-Informed Health Policymaking in Low and Middle-Income Countries: An International Forum". World Health Organisation. Retrieved 2012-11-10. 
  2. ^ "Evipnet". YouTube. 2011-06-06. Retrieved 2012-11-10. 
  3. ^ [1] Archived April 22, 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ John N. Lavisa1 and Ulysses Panisseta2 (2010-04-15). "Cambridge Journals Online - Abstract". Journals.cambridge.org. Retrieved 2012-11-10. 
  5. ^ "EVIPNet Brasil". Brasil.evipnet.org. Retrieved 2012-11-10. 
  6. ^ "Evipnet". Evipnet. 2012-11-03. Retrieved 2012-11-10. 
  7. ^ "WHO | Advisory Committee on Health Research | ACHR". Who.int. 2011-07-01. Retrieved 2012-11-10. 
  8. ^ "Advisory Committee on Health Research (ACHR)". New.paho.org. Retrieved 2012-11-10. 
  9. ^ "SUPPORT Tools for Evidence-Informed Policy-Making (STP): accessible in four languages". New.paho.org. 2012-03-07. Retrieved 2012-11-10. 
  10. ^ "Evidence Portal". Evidencias.bvsalud.org. Retrieved 2012-11-10. 
  11. ^ a b "WHO's Role and Responsibilities in Health Research" (PDF). Apps.who.int. Retrieved 2012-11-10. 
  12. ^ "Global Symposium on Health Systems Research (HSR) :: Beijing, People's Republic of China, 31 October - 3 November 2012". Hsr-symposium.org. 2012-11-03. Retrieved 2012-11-10. 
  13. ^ "Strengthening National Health Research Systems". New.paho.org. 2012-05-07. Retrieved 2012-11-10. 
  14. ^ "Annual Colloquia | The Cochrane Collaboration". Cochrane.org. 2012-10-23. Retrieved 2012-11-10. 
  15. ^ "Update. Influenza A (H1N1) Regional Report (June 5 2009)". Paho.org. 2009-06-05. Retrieved 2012-11-10. 
  16. ^ "EVIPNet: translating the spirit of Mexico". The Lancet. Retrieved 2012-11-10. 
  17. ^ Original TextEVIPNet Americas Secretariat a. "EVIPNet Americas: informing policies with evidence". The Lancet. Retrieved 2012-11-10. 
  18. ^ "Health is global: a UK Government strategy 2008-13 : Department of Health - Publications". Dh.gov.uk. 2008-09-30. Retrieved 2012-11-10.