Forum extends its global influence by supporting evidence-informed policymaking in the Caribbean

The McMaster Health Forum’s work to support evidence-informed health systems has been used as a model for the development of the Caribbean Public Health Agency’s (CARPHA) Knowledge Translation (KT) Facility and its Evidence Informed Decision Making Network of the Caribbean (EvIDeNCe) Portal.

“Much as we did for the launch of Australia’s National Trauma Research Institute Forum and Lebanon’s Knowledge to Policy (K2P) Center, we helped CARPHA to model some of its new centre’s activities and approaches on our approaches,” said Forum Director John Lavis.

This work follows the establishment in 2014 of a National Trauma Research Institute Forum (NTRI) in Australia, and the launch earlier this year of the Knowledge to Policy (K2P) Center in Lebanon, both of which follow the McMaster Health Forum’s model.

Over the past seven months, the Forum has assisted the team at CARPHA’ s Research Training and Policy Development division to:

  • plan, design and develop the EvIDeNCe Portal (in collaboration with colleagues from PAHO and its specialized centre BIREME)
  • conduct capacity building training for 19 policymakers, researchers and stakeholders through online and in-person workshops on Finding and Using Research Evidence to Inform Decision-making and Setting Agendas and Developing Policies
  • provide an experiential learning opportunity in collaborating to host a stakeholder dialogue, so that future dialogues could be conducted in the region

Earlier this summer, the McMaster Health Forum collaborated with the Caribbean Public Health Agency, to convene a stakeholder dialogue on the subject of preventing interpersonal and self-directed violence and injuries in the Caribbean. With support from the Pan American Health Organization, the dialogue brought together 18 participants – 14 policymakers, two stakeholders and two researchers – from several Caribbean countries to examine the problem, options for addressing it, and key implementation considerations.

“The dialogue provided an excellent opportunity to hear various perspectives about this complex issue and to understand the realities of implementing initiatives to address it,” said Dr. Andrea Yearwood, the Senior Health Policy Analyst at CARPHA. “Through this process, we have been able to identify some concrete next steps to tackle this public health challenge in our region.” 

>> Read more about the evidence and outcomes from this stakeholder dialogue. More information is also available from the Caribbean Public Health Agency.

Recognizing the valuable contributions made by the Forum, the WHO recently renewed the Forum’s designation as a WHO Collaborating Centre for Evidence-Informed Policy for another four-year term, to December 2018.

The Forum hopes to continue our collaboration with CARPHA to further support evidence-informed policymaking in the Caribbean.

CARPHA dialogue participants