Knowledge translation training at the fifth Evidence-informed Policy Network (EVIPNet) Europe multicountry meeting
Neda Milevska-Kostova (Executive Director, CRPRC “Studiorum”, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia)
The Slovak State Secretary of Health Stanislav Špánik; Claudia Stein, Director, Division of Information, Evidence, Research and Innovation, WHO Regional Office for Europe; and Mark Leys, Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Belgium, opened the fifth EVIPNet Europe multicountry meeting in Bratislava, Slovakia, on 14–16 June 2017. The annual multicountry meeting is part of EVIPNet Europe’s efforts to promote evidence-informed policy-making (EIP) at country level by building national knowledge translation capacity.
The event provided an excellent opportunity for attendees from 19 countries, territories and areas, as well as representatives of the Wellcome Trust and the Cochrane Collaboration, to increase their skills and exchange experiences with activities aiming at bridging the know–do gap. Two parallel workshop tracks offered training in (i) developing evidence briefs for policy (EBPs), which are easy-to-use syntheses of the best available global and local evidence to support policy-making; and (ii) establishing rapid response services (RRS) to produce research syntheses on a timescale of hours to weeks. A combined brainstorming session further provided valuable input for future strategic directions of EVIPNet Europe, guiding the network’s development and activities in the period from 2018 to 2022.
Country teams taking part in the EBP workshop left the meeting with a fully completed set of working documents, including a detailed work plan and protocol. This puts the EBP teams on solid ground to promptly advance EBP development and deliver a draft EBP within the next few months. Participants of the RRS track developed a proposal to establish such a service, allowing them to present an elaborated and expert-reviewed recommendation of how and where to best offer RRS in their country. Furthermore, three Cochrane contributors have completed their training in supporting countries with the development of EBPs and are now ready to co-facilitate future EVIPNet Europe workshops at national level.
Next steps for EVIPNet Europe
EVIPNet Europe’s next steps are related to promoting collaboration among network members and implementation of network activities, supported by the WHO country offices, the network’s internal and external partners and the WHO Secretariat of EVIPNet Europe. This includes (i) increasing the support for EIP, especially among high-level stakeholders; (ii) advancing the work on RRS and EBPs in countries, areas and territories; and (iii) developing a new strategy guiding the network’s progress in the next five years.