With the main purpose of strengthening the Network of Evidence-Informed Policies (EVIPNet) in the Americas and increase the exchange of experiences and capacities among the different countries with strategies that promote the use of evidence in decision making for health policies, the Regional Meeting on the use of Evidence for Policies was held in Santiago, Chile.
During three days (from October 16 to 18) of intense interactivity, it was possible to get acquainted with the initiatives and activities that each country, PAHO and WHO hold within the framework of EVIPNet; to explore technical fields of joint development between the teams that provide evidence for the formulation and implementation of health policies; and to build the basis for developing a joint strategy for promoting the systematic use of scientific evidence for decision making for health policies in the Region.
Representatives from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago and Uruguay, from the different functional structures that generate and use scientific evidence for decision making in public health, as well as other national, regional and global experts, participated in the Meeting.
Each country representative presented a summary on the advances of its programs related to the use of evidence in decision making to formulate, implement and evaluate policies, clinical recommendations, coverage for benefit plans, fast replies and technology evaluation, among others. In addition, information was given on the structure, governance, priorities, types of response, standards, products, impact, alliances and networks for each institution; as well as the institutional necessities and proposals for strengthening the EVIPNet Americas Network.
Convinced that the systematic use of available evidence translates into better policies and increased well-being for the population, in 2005, the OMS launched the EVIPNet initiative “Network of Evidence-Informed Policies”, whose main objective is promoting the regular use of scientific evidence for formulating and implementing health policies.
EVIPNet includes global and regional networks in which the country teams participate. In the Region of the Americas, EVIPNet works with different levels of complexity in each country of the Region since 2007, coordinated by PAHO.
The formulation of evidence-informed health policies is an approach whose main objective is guaranteeing that the best available scientific evidence is used for decision making. It is characterized by the access to and systematic and transparent evaluation of scientific evidence and other knowledge as inputs in the process of policy formulation.
About the Meeting
The meeting was organized by Ludovic Reveiz, from the Department of Evidence and Intelligence for Action in Health (EIH/PAHO/WHO), with the support of the Division on Sanitary Planning, Sub-secretariat of Public Health of the Chilean Ministry of Health and of the PAHO/WHO Representation in Chile.
Verónica Abdala represented BIREME during the meeting, contributing to the discussions and proposing the following lines of collaboration in order to support the reactivation of the EVIPNet Americas Network:
- Development of the PIE database – Evidence Informed Policies, which includes information from syntheses of evidence and other documents from EVIPNet. All countries accepted to collaborate and contribute to PIE with their products, in addition to indicating focal points for making direct registrations of their products in PIE, according the database criteria.
- Reactivation of the EVIPNet Americas Portal (americas.evipnet.org) with information on the Network, information sources of interest on the topic of evidence-informed policies informed, and visibility for products and services of the EVIPNet Americas Network;
- Update of the PIE course in Spanish with tutorial and available on the CVSP; and
- Development and launching of the Evidence portal for approaching the Sustainable Development Objectives.
Other participants invited to contribute to attain the objectives of the meeting were Taghreed Adam from WHO HQ, Tanya Kuchenmüller from EVIPNet WHO/Europe, John Lavis from McMaster University (Canada) and the Collaborating Center of PAHO/WHO for Evidence-Informed Policies, Ulysses Panisset from the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais and former EVIPNet coordinator, and Evelina Chapman, who currently collaborates with EVIPNet Europe.
With the support of Dr. John Lavis and based on the country presentations, PAHO developed a draft road map that was presented and discussed by all. Participants concluded that this is the right moment for strengthening EVIPNet Americas. They also addressed operational and strategic considerations for strengthening the Network in the Region.