Hungary launches Evidence-Informed Policy Network (EVIPNet)

WHO

EVIPNet Europe supports the existing evidence-informed policy (EIP) actors and mechanisms in Hungary, and promotes the systematic and transparent use of health research evidence in policy-making. The launch of EVIPNet Europe in Hungary took place on 21 April 2015 in Budapest at a workshop attended by key policy-makers, researchers and other stakeholders. The workshop was organized and prepared under the excellent leadership of Dr Zsofia Pusztai, the Head of Country Office in Hungary, and Mr Peter Mihalicza, Head of Division of Data Warehousing and Analytics at the National Healthcare Service Center. 

The objectives of the workshop were to: 

  • raise awareness and get support of national decision-makers and stakeholders for EVIPNet Europe and its future activities in Hungary;
  • familiarize EIP leaders with the situation analysis methodology and to conduct an EIP mapping exercise;  and
  • identify enablers and barriers of EIP.

Strong support from the national Government

Dr Gábor Zombor, State Minister for Health at the Ministry of Human Capacities, opened the workshop. 38 stakeholders participated including the Chief of Cabinet, as well as representatives from the Ministry of Human Capacities, national public health agencies and universities. 

Ms Tanja Kuchenmüller, Coordinator of EVIPNet Europe, gave an overview of EVIPNet Europe's pilot phase and its benefits and relevance in Hungary. Mr Mihalicza presented the role of the EVIPNet Europe country team and its planned activities in the initial year of the pilot phase. Dr Pusztai provided an in-depth overview of the national context and how EVIPNet Europe would complement the current national climate and needs.

A situation analysis: laying the groundwork for evidence-based policy-making

Key findings, including enablers and barriers of EIP, the stakeholder mapping and examples of existing EIP practices, will inform the situation analysis process taking place in May–July 2015. The situation analysis aims to increase understanding about interactions among a country's research and policy-making communities to determine where and how to best establish a national country team (so-called Knowledge Translation Platform (KTP)) in Hungary. 

This workshop represented an important first step towards building a collaborative relationship among decision makers, researchers and other EIP stakeholders, which will lay the groundwork for evidence-based policy-making in the future. The launch of EVIPNet is effectively supported by the recently institutionalized health system performance assessment tools and by regular WHO health system reviews.