Forum launches new training model to support stakeholders and policymakers

Last month, the Forum received a request from the World Health Organization’s Regional Office for Europe to provide timely support to EVIPNet teams in Albania and Moldova, which are both currently in the midst of preparing evidence briefs for policy on health-system challenges in their countries. In response, the Forum developed a tailored course on finding and using research evidence to inform decision-making in health systems and organizations, which combined the Forum’s online training module on the topic with three two-hour interactive virtual-learning workshops designed to operationalize the concepts and further build the capacity of participants to effectively find and use the best available evidence to support policymaking.

“The webinar format is an excellent mix of, on the one hand being cost-effective and flexible in timing and location, and on the other hand, allowing for direct interaction and mentoring of participants, responding to context-specific queries, providing guidance, and comprehensively discussing issues that arise,” said Tanja Kuchenmüller, Unit leader, Knowledge Management, Evidence and Research for Policymaking in the Regional Office for Europe. “Members of EVIPNet Europe who have participated in the McMaster Health Forum’s webinar series have expressed great satisfaction with this support format, which has accelerated their progress in drafting their evidence brief.”

One of the participants from the Moldovan team highlighted how the interactive nature of the virtual-learning model helped to support their team as they worked through the development of their evidence brief, and that the knowledge they gained will help with the development of future evidence briefs. Another participant from Albania suggested that this course be delivered “to all researchers at the Institute of Public Health, University of Medicine, and other relevant institutions in Albania,” and that the customizable nature of this new training model makes it a cost-effective option for policymakers worldwide.

Given the success of this approach, we will be making it available to stakeholders everywhere, and we encourage colleagues across Canada to consider it as an alternate to in-person training for small groups of trainees.

For more information on this approach, please contact us at or visit our site to learn more about our other training options.