This bulletin is assembled to convey information in Spanish on the intricacies of the evidence-to-policy process. It is specifically geared to help researchers and policy makers, as well as technical officers from the Latin American National Health Authorities, understand the points in policy consideration at which evidence from research can play a role in informing decisionmaking. The bulletin is focused on Latin American regional policy makers and has been designed by a group of local experts with knowledge of local context and needs for low-income and developing countries.
The video presentations in the bulletin, presented in Spanish and English, are structured to present the role and value of using research-based evidence. Using primarily public health-based examples, the discussion between the Chilean and Canadian researchers ranges from: the use of evidence to inform policy formation, versus as a basis for policy making; its use in putting checks on constituency-based decisions by policy makers and politicians; and its role in evaluating the application of programmes from other countries. One reason expressed for using research to inform policy is that the stakeholders and political constituents may be moved by evidence, including budgetary information informed by evidence, and results-related evidence. The availability of evidence through print and online resources is cited as making research an accessible tool for policymakers.
The discussants examine rapid response by researchers to the needs of policy makers. A policy maker, for example, may face a decision with a deadline that is weeks, days, or hours away. The rapid response research unit must have strategies and resources that fit each timeframe and offer varying depths of information to policy makers depending on how many and which resources they access in the time available.
Links include a slide show and presentation by Dr. Tomás Pantoja on the steps and strategies of conducting a research study, using the example of the provision of health services in for-profit private facilities versus non-profit facilities. A bibliography of 4 publications on evidence-informed health policy is included, introduced by Dra. Evelina Chapman of the Nacional Academy of Medicine of Buenos Aires, Argentina. It includes the topics: "Synthesis of findings from a multi-method study of organizations that support the use of research evidence; Survey of organizations that support the use of research evidence; Interviews with the directors of organizations that support the use of research evidence; and Case descriptions of organizations that support the use of research evidence."