Analysis on evidence-informed health policy-making prompts action in Slovenia

A newly released analysis on evidence-informed policy-making (EIP) in Slovenia has already prompted several actions that will help promote the institutionalization of evidence-informed health policy and knowledge translation activities in Slovenia. The situation analysis was conducted with the support of the WHO Evidence-informed Policy Network (EVIPNet) Europe operating under the auspices of the WHO European Health Information Initiative (EHII).

Dr Mircha Poldrugovac, Public Health Specialist at the National Institute of Public Health, Slovenia, and national EVIPNet champion, who led the development of the situation analysis, provided concrete examples of such actions. In particular, he cited the renewed attention towards the regulatory frameworks which can provide a basis for establishing sustainable EIP mechanisms. “The country’s research team is working to formulate concrete recommendations to implement evidence-informed policy-making and institutionalize a knowledge translation platform," Dr Poldrugovac added.

Dr Darina Sedláková, Head of the WHO Country Office in Slovenia, further commented that: “A neutral, independent unit that supports the transfer of knowledge and evidence into policies will help decision-makers in their day-to-day work. It will ensure that the worlds of research and policy-making come closer together, interact and work towards mutual understanding and support of each other”.

First of its kind

The situation analysis is the first of its kind in the WHO European Region and globally. Following the methodology described in the WHO manual for situation analysis, the study analyses EIP in the national context, in this case, Slovenia. It aims to map and assess the context in which EIP takes shape and reflects on opportunities to establish a sustainable EIP infrastructure.

The study assesses the success of the efforts to translate research into policy in Slovenia, as well as the priorities for research and policy coordination. It also highlights the main barriers which prevent the development of evidence-informed health policy and studies the national-level mechanisms to help facilitate such efforts.

Assessing Slovenia’s EIP context

Despite examples of successful individual research-to-policy activities, Slovenia faces a range of challenges in strengthening the systematic and transparent use of evidence in policy. Importantly, the process of bridging the gap between research and policy has not yet been institutionalized.

Promoting EIP has been a priority in Slovenia since 2013 when the country became one of the first Member States in the Region to join EVIPNet Europe, which is part of the WHO EHII. EVIPNet Europe is hosted by WHO/Europe’s Knowledge Management, Evidence and Research for Policy-Making unit, in the Division of Information, Evidence, Research and Innovation.

About EVIPNet Europe

Launched in the WHO European Region in October 2012, EVIPNet Europe is a regional WHO initiative that promotes the systematic and transparent use of health-research evidence in policy-making.