EVIPNet promotes the systematic use of health research evidence in policy-making. Focusing on low and middle-income countries, EVIPNet promotes partnerships at the country level between policy-makers, researchers and civil society in order to facilitate both policy development and policy implementation through the use of the best scientific evidence available. EVIPNet comprises networks that bring together country-level teams, which are coordinated at both regional and global levels.
“If you are poor, actually you need more evidence before you invest [in health], rather than if you are rich.” (Dr. Hassan Mshinda, United Republic of Tanzania)
Low and middle income countries have scarce resources to address their health system challenges and need high-quality evidence to use those resources efficiently. Scientific evidence is a fundamental building block to improve the public health situation. If health sector managers and policy-makers ignore evidence on the root causes of problems or what works best to address these problems, they risk wasting precious resources on inadequately designed programmes and policies. The direst consequence of ignoring this evidence is poor health for the population.
“All countries need to step up efforts to increase investment in health research(…). At the same time, full use should be made of scientific evidence, and we should also work to bridge gaps between decision-making and scientific research.” (Chen Zhu, Minister of Health, People’s Republic of China)
The Ministerial Summit on Health Research in Mexico City in November 2004 focused on the need to improve the use of knowledge for better health policies. After the summit a World Health Assembly resolution in May, 2005 called on the World Health Organization: ‘to establish mechanisms to transfer knowledge in support of evidence-based public health and health-care delivery systems, and evidence-based health-related policies’. In response to this call, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched the Evidence-Informed Policy Networks (EVIPNet) in 2005.
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