Poland working towards promoting evidence-informed health policy

WHO

Poland demonstrated its commitment to establishing inclusive mechanisms for evidence-informed policy by holding its first high-level multistakeholder consultation on evidence-informed policy on 15 February 2019 in Warsaw, Poland. The consultation was convened as part of the Evidence-informed Policy Network (EVIPNet) Europe programme to support evidence-informed policy making in Member States.

The aim of the consultation was to analyse the evidence-informed policy landscape in Poland, with the long-term aim of establishing a knowledge translation platform (KTP) in the country. KTPs are networks responsible for key steps in translating research-based evidence into policy action. This includes identifying and synthesizing high-quality and locally relevant evidence, engaging experts, liaising with stakeholders and building local capacity.

Organized jointly by Mr Jakub Adamski, Director of the Department of Analyses and Strategies in the Ministry of Health, and Dr Paloma Cuchi, Head of the WHO Country Office in Poland, the consultation included stakeholders from the Polish Ministry of Health, WHO and academia.

To inform the consultation, researchers from Jagiellonian University Medical College in Krakow and representatives of the Ministry of Health prepared a situation analysis of potential barriers to and facilitators of evidence-informed policy in Poland with technical input from EVIPNet Europe.

The analysis found that, although systematic mechanisms for evidence-informed policy are missing in the country, Poland has recognized the importance of evidence-informed policy. A growing number of activities and initiatives may be conducive to establishing a KTP and promoting evidence-informed policy processes in the country.

Key stakeholders at the consultation agreed on a proposed model for a KTP, signifying consensus on the importance of institutionalizing evidence-informed policy in Poland. The proposed model is a network with a joint secretariat within the Ministry of Health, supported by regular promotion of evidence-informed policy and training in the use of evidence-informed policy tools.

Speaking after the consultation, Dr Cuchi said: “Poland’s existing technical capacity and expertise are an asset for the expansion of EVIPNet in Poland. Poland is ready to implement a model that rapidly meets the needs of decision-makers without compromising the reliability of the evidence.”