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Which EIDM tools to use all along the stages of the evidence funnel and policy/action cycle?

Published onApr 25, 2024
Which EIDM tools to use all along the stages of the evidence funnel and policy/action cycle?

A variety of tools to support the process of EIDM were identified and reviewed as part of the process of developing this guidance document. The tools included in this guidance document and the repository are linked to the steps of the policy/action cycle (see Table A2.1 in the Annex) and to the different evidence products being produced by WHO and Member countries (Table 3.5). A systematic process was undertaken to identify, screen and prioritize tools (Appendix 1). Preference was given to tools produced by WHO or external tools that were being widely used in EIDM processes across the Organization. In addition, tools for assessing the quality (risk of bias) of different types of research evidence are provided in Table 3.6.

While the steps included in Table 3.5 suggest a systematic process along the policy/action cycle, this is an ideal scenario that often does not apply in practice. More frequently, the process starts at any of the intermediary steps and moves backwards to fill any gaps before moving forwards. At times, only part of the process is undertaken before stopping or changing track. EIDM generally requires a high degree of flexibility across processes.

Tools can be chosen based on the stage that you wish to address in the policy/action cycle (Table A2.1 in the Annex) or depending on the required evidence products that you need to develop (Table 3.5). When developing an evidence product (e.g. a WHO guideline), the relevant guide indicated in Table 3.5 may be supplemented by other tools from the mapping exercise to complete the policy/action cycle. To develop a WHO guideline, for example, the relevant guide is the WHO Handbook for guideline development [39]; yet other tools can be used to communicate and engage; implement, monitor, evaluate and adjust; or to sustain system change.

Table 3.3. Sources of global-, regional- and country-level data for evidence-informed decision-making, including for identifying problems and for monitoring and evaluation

Abbreviations: HALE – healthy life expectancy; HEAT – health equity assessment toolkit

Abbreviations: EBP: evidence brief for policy; EVIPNet: Evidence-informed Policy Network; GRADE: Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation; HTA: health technology assessment; INAHTA: International Network of Agencies for HTA; PIE: Políticas informadas por evidencia

  • The Guidelines International Network is a global network supporting evidence-based guideline development and implementation – it currently has 113 organizational members and 172 individual members from 59 countries (

  • Produced by the Pan American Health Organization/WHO and BIREME (Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Science Information).

WHO library services in support of evidence-informed decision-making (for WHO staff only)

To facilitate access to the latest scientific information and evidence in the medical and biomedical fields, WHO provides its staff with worldwide online access to subscribed journals and databases via the Global Information Full Text (GIFT) database. WHO-published information material and technical documents are publicly available in the Institutional Repository for Information Sharing (IRIS) in several languages. The WHO library additionally offers tailored individual support to WHO staff with consultations and thematic database searches, as well as a range of online and on-site training opportunities on search strategies, major evidence databases, and referencing tools.

> Global Information Full Text (GIFT) database (for WHO staff only)

> Institutional Repository for Information Sharing (IRIS) (for WHO staff only)

> WHO library training resources (for WHO staff only)

While using any of the tools included in this guidance document and repository, contacting the issuing team or contact person for support and advice is highly encouraged. Several of the tools mentioned in this document include training and capacity-building resources or dedicated support mechanisms. Where available, the EIDM repository lists accessible support and training links.

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