World Health Assembly event on using evidence to address health challenges

The COVID-19 pandemic created a once-in-a-generation focus on evidence. We now have the opportunity to systematize the aspects of evidence use that are going well and to address the many gaps.

Alongside the 75th World Health Assembly, Cochrane and the Global Commission on Evidence to Address Societal Challenges co-organized a virtual side event which brought together a global panel to discuss some of these issues. The event will be chaired by the World Health Organization’s Chief Scientist.

>> Download a PDF of the presentation by John Lavis

>> Watch a recording

Tuesday 24 May, 12:00 pm-1:00 pm CEST


  • Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist, WHO
  • Fitsum Assefa Adela, Ministry of Planning and Development, Ethiopia
  • Steven J. Hoffman, member of Canada's WHA delegation; Scientific Director, CIHR Institute of Population & Public Health
  • Maxi Rondonuwu, Director of Disease Prevention and Control, Indonesia
  • John Lavis, Co-Lead, Evidence Commission


  • Judith Brodie, Interim CEO, Cochrane
  • Sylvia de Haan, Head of Advocacy, Communications and Partnerships, Cochrane

About the session

During the roundtable, leaders from WHO Member States who use evidence to guide national decision-making will be encouraged to reflect on their work – and share what they need from evidence producers, evidence intermediaries, and multilateral organizations. Cochrane, the WHO Evidence-informed Policy Network and the Evidence Commission will then discuss their shared vision and recommendations.

The session will be a dialogue between both the demand and supply side of evidence – highlighting the key priorities for the evidence-informed future we want and need, and the conditions needed to get us there.

Now is the time to ‘up our game’ in using evidence to address health challenges.