Planning and Implementation
The teams should try to use scientific evidence systematically in the decision-making process in order to help strengthen the national health research systems and the national health systems. Although it is foreseen that all the EVIPNet teams follow the general directives, the model of organization of each country should be relevant to the context of the country and be adapted to the local needs.
The following is a general guideline for the implementation of an EVIPNet team, which comprises of two phases:
1. Planning Phase, 8-12 months
2. Implementation Phase, maximum of 5 years
EVIPNet - Strategy for Skills Building Strategy
The goal of the Skills Building Strategy is to help the teams develop and strengthen the capacities necessary for putting EVIPNet into Practice creating a critical mass of individuals trained to sustain the long-term initiative. In principle, the Strategy focuses on the reinforcement of the indispensable skills for the basic activities of EVIPNet, such as preparing summaries on useful evidence for the policies, organizing dialogues in order to deliberate, and promote research in order to fill the gaps of evidence.
EVIPNet - Proposal for Skills Building Strategy
A critical step towards a strong EVIPNet is a robust cohesive country team, with representation of key stakeholders such as representatives from the national health authority, the science and technology council, the research and academic community, and civil society. There have been significant recent developments in the field of translation of evidence to policy and a systematic, structured approach to capacity building provides an opportunity to strengthen in-country expertise. To this end, PAHO is developing a comprehensive Skills Building Strategy (SB Strategy) based on the consensus among the Americas’ teams and PAHO’s Advisory Committee on Health Research that further training in specific areas related to the work of EVIPNet should be a priority.
Many of the EVIPNet countries have identified assistance in this area as part of their technical cooperation agreements with PAHO. To this end THR/RP, in collaboration with HSS/HR, developed a proposal for the SB Strategy and invited a group of experts including WHO Regional Advisors and members of the EVIPNet Global Steering Group, and PAHO/WHO representatives to validate and strengthen the plan. A first expert and stakeholders meeting took place in Geneva on October 10-11th.thanks to the financial support of Health Canada1. A final proposal was developed based on the recommendations that emerge form this meeting2. The document describes the goals and objectives of the SB Strategy, lists the necessary competencies as agreed by the expert consultation in Geneva and cross references these competencies with the corresponding activities that are expected from EVIPNet teams. Furthermore, it includes a list of priority courses and learning objectives together with a brief description of the educational methodology.
To our knowledge, this is the first time that the competencies for a knowledge transfer team have been defined. Due to the novelty of this approach and the complexity of the process, it proved to be a challenging task. However, the multi-partner consultation allowed building a comprehensive strategy with direct application to the Americas certainly useful to other EVIPNet Regions.
1 Meeting participants: John Lavis (Mc Master University), Jeremy Grimshaw (University of Ottawa), Xavier Bonfill (Coordinator of the Iberoamerican Cochrane Network), Zulma Ortiz (Academia Nacional de Medicina, Argentina), George Gotsadze (Curatio International Foundation- AHPSR), Ulysses Panisset (WHO), Isabelle Huguet (WHO) and Issa Sanou (AFRO/WHO) and Luis Gabriel Cuervo (PAHO/THR), Analía Porrás (PAHO/THR).
2 This final document was developed through a collaboration between HSS/HR (Dra Rosa María Borrell), THR/RP (Dra. Analía Porrás) and external experts (Dr. Marcelo García Dieguez, Centro Colaboradore Cochrane –Academia Nacional de Medicina, Argentina)
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Phases to implement an EVIPNet Team
1. Planning Phase, 8-12 months: Each country team proposes a working plan for which PAHO provides the necessary technical support. Work for the planning phase concentrates on three areas:
2. Implementation Phase, maximum of 5 years: EVIPNet teams will implement the proposed activities with active support from PAHO and an international resource group, which is comprised of experts in the research to policy/practice field. During this phase, proposals are expected to focus on most or all of the following objectives:
Enhance linkages between and among the producers and users of evidence.
Use, assess, and adapt systematic reviews and other types of evidence relevant to the needs of decision-makers.
Commission and/or update systematic reviews of health research (especially local research), or communicate the need for specific reviews to groups that are involved in knowledge synthesis.
Promote health research projects that will cover existing knowledge gaps that affect priority areas as well as the inclusion of policy-relevant areas in research priority agendas.
Design, implement, and promote strategies to enhance the uptake of evidence by decision and policy-makers.
Provide training opportunities to develop the capacity of decision- and policy-makers to access and apply evidence.
Provide decision- and policy-makers a reliable and trustworthy source of evidence that allows taking action while considering local and regional needs.
Partner with existing organizations engaged in any of the above functions.
Report: Evaluation of the Evidence Informed Policy Networks (EVIPNet). August 2010 -July 2012
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