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What is evidence-informed policymaking?

Andrew Oxman, John N Lavis, Simon Lewin and Atle Fretheim. What is evidence-informed policymaking? Health Research Policy and Systems20097(Suppl 1):S1 DOI: 10.1186/1478-4505-7-S1-S1
Abstract / Summary: 
In this article, we discuss the following three questions: What is evidence? What is the role of research evidence in informing health policy decisions? What is evidence-informed policymaking? Evidence-informed health policymaking is an approach to policy decisions that aims to ensure that decision making is well-informed by the best available research evidence. It is characterised by the systematic and transparent access to, and appraisal of, evidence as an input into the policymaking process. The overall process of policymaking is not assumed to be systematic and transparent. However, within the overall process of policymaking, systematic processes are used to ensure that relevant research is identified, appraised and used appropriately. These processes are transparent in order to ensure that others can examine what research evidence was used to inform policy decisions, as well as the judgements made about the evidence and its implications. Evidence-informed policymaking helps policymakers gain an understanding of these processes.
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WHAT IS EVIDENCE? 'Discussions of evidence-based practice and evidence-informed policymaking can generate debate about what exactly constitutes 'evidence'. A common understanding is that 'evidence concerns facts (actual or asserted) intended for use in support of a conclusion' [15]. A fact, in turn, is something known through experience or observation. An important implication of this understanding is that evidence can be used to support a conclusion, but it is not the same as a conclusion. Evidence alone does not make decisions.


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Andrew Oxman, John N Lavis, Simon Lewin and Atle Fretheim. 

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