Lead the way

We need to formalize and strengthen domestic evidence-support systems

Decision-makers must be able to draw upon the various forms of evidence they need, best-suited to the questions they’re challenged with, when they need it. Creating this norm, in turn, requires creating the capacities, opportunities and motivation to use evidence, and putting in place the structures and processes to sustain them.

We’re reaching out to leaders to support you in doing this vital work. Specifically, we’re offering jurisdictions help you to take stock of their existing evidence supports and identify the key building blocks required to formalize and strengthen national and subnational evidence-support system.

Globally, the Evidence Commission secretariat is working with 12 countries (national and/or sub-national governments) to facilitate a rapid evidence-support system assessments, or RESSA. Relying on a rapid learning and improvement approach, this assessment helps countries or regions to swiftly take stock of their evidence-support assets and gaps, while also zeroing in on the key building.

Why now?
We are facing the most opportune time in decades to systematize and scale up what is working well and to fill key gaps in evidence production, dissemination, and use—here’s why:

  • There is a cadre of political leaders who have personal experience with what worked well during COVID-19 and what could work better (and with how their counterparts in other countries appeared to be better supported with best evidence)
  • Innovations in evidence products and processes, such as living evidence syntheses and living guidelines, show evidence producers can meet the time constraints expected of decisionmakers
  • Lesson learned about needing to have evidence supports in place that can pivot to address future crises
  • COVID-19 evidence investments come to an end
  • There’s recognition of the growing array of health and broader societal challenges where best evidence is needed, such as climate action

What we’re hearing
The experiences of countries undertaking a RESSA in phase 1 of our outreach are lending early insights toward potential ways forward (solutions) as well as the context and problems jurisdictions are up against. 

Are you interested to learn more about what a RESSA involves? Would you like to work with the Evidence Commission secretariat to facilitate a RESSA? Please contact evidencecommission@mcmaster.ca to learn more.

Stay connected with the Evidence Commission to keep up-to-date with our work.