EVIPNet and University College London launch new project to pilot the WHO checklist on EIPM institutionalization

“When evidence informs decisions, policies are better, fairer and more transparent, resulting in better health for the population.”

– Lucy Kühn Barrientos, Ministry of Health, Chile

The World Health Organization (WHO), 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) are jointly launching a new project on piloting a checklist for the institutionalization of evidence-informed policy-making (EIPM).

This checklist was developed in 2023 and aims at assisting countries in planning, monitoring, evaluating, and learning about their EIPM institutionalization process. However, this tool has seen limited application in practice, leading to a need to test its validity and feasibility in the real world.

A new project, funded by the Geneva Science Policy Interface, will pilot the checklist in two countries in the WHO European Region and the Americas. These countries were chosen due to their diverse geographical locations and different stages of EIPM institutionalization. The pilot aims at assessing the evidence ecosystem for EIPM in both countries, identifying the current stage of institutionalization, producing a list of key actions to strengthen current institutions, and obtaining stakeholders’ feedback on the tool’s usefulness and efficiency. The project will run from October 2023 to September 2024.

The pilot study will be divided into two phases. The first phase involves a comprehensive situation analysis, similar to an exploration mission, using methods such as a scoping review, focus group discussions, and key informant interviews. This phase will paint a picture of the national context, health system, and EIPM landscape of each country.

“We hope this project will help decision makers in both pilot countries to plan, monitor, and evaluate the institutionalization of evidence-informed decision making. We believe that it will provide valuable lessons learned for other countries, too.”

– Mukdarut Bangpan, University College London, UK

The second phase will be more interactive and revolve around a participatory workshop held in each country. The aim is to identify the institutionalization stage and actions under the six domains of the WHO checklist. It also seeks feedback from participants on the tool’s usefulness.

By the end of this phase, each country will have a collaborative plan including key actions for each domain/stage, key actors, and an analysis of facilitators and barriers to reaching the next stage of institutionalization.

This WHO initiative is not just about enhancing policy-making processes. It’s about making them more efficient, effective, and equitable. It’s about turning visions into realities and making a difference in people’s lives.

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