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Assess your domestic evidence-support systems

The Evidence Commission secretariat is working with interested jurisdictions (national and/or sub-national) to facilitate a rapid jurisdictional assessment of domestic evidence-support systems. Undertaking this assessment can provide a helpful baseline for your jurisdiction to document and learn where to begin to systematize the many aspects of using evidence that are going well, while also highlighting and remedying any shortfalls.

In this rapid learning and improvement approach, we’re interested to work with partners who can commit to leading or co-leading an assessment in their jurisdictions (country or region) by relying on our tools and methods, and committing to sharing lessons learned with other jurisdictions. 

In brief, our rapid jurisdictional assessment involves reviews of websites and documents and interviews with approximately 10 key informants (and possibly a stakeholder dialogue) to document timely, demand-driven evidence support by: 

  • Central agencies (bringing a whole-of-government perspective), ‘science and technology’ departments, line departments, and legislative bodies
  • In-house units, supports available through formal partnerships, and (if applicable) supports available through UN system entities’ country, regional & global offices (and other contributors to the global evidence architecture, such as the OECD)

Our discussions with you will also consider your government’s context for decision-making, particularly the decisions faced and the enablers for and barriers to evidence use; and the government structures and processes that provide a ‘way in’ for evidence.

A data-collection template (in Excel) is available (upon request) and can be iteratively updated to track and update jurisdictional progress.

The key outputs of this work are a list of priorities (available in a briefing format, e.g., slide deck), shared back with your jurisdiction, for what to systematize (or scale up) and what gaps to fill. We also propose convening a meeting, at the end of this assessment, with those who can champion this work within each jurisdiction to develop a plan for formalizing and strengthening your evidence-support system.

While there is no formal cost for undertaking this work, we have designed a rapid learning approach to limit the ‘in kind’ demands on your time.

Please contact evidencecommission@mcmaster.ca if you would like to learn more.

In the meantime, if you are looking for evidence to support decision-making, then here are some avenues for getting started:

  • COVID-END: The COVID-19 Evidence Network to support Decision-making (COVID-END) helps those supporting decision-making about COVID-19 to find and use the best available evidence (i.e., to support the evidence-demand side of the pandemic response). COVID-END is a time-limited network that brings together more than 50 of the world’s leading evidence-synthesis, technology-assessment and guideline-development groups around the world. It covers the full spectrum of the pandemic response, from public-health measures and clinical management to health-system arrangements and economic and social responses. It also covers the full spectrum of contexts where the pandemic response is playing out, including low-, middle- and high-income countries. We invite you to learn more.
  • Health Systems Evidence
  • Social Systems Evidence
  • Producers of evidence-related global public goods 
Stay connected with the Evidence Commission to keep up-to-date with our work.