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The evidence ecosystem: turning evidence into action

Published onApr 25, 2024
The evidence ecosystem: turning evidence into action

An evidence ecosystem can be defined as “a system reflecting the formal and informal linkages and interactions between different actors (and their capacities and resources) involved in the production, translation, and use of evidence” [6]. Health research evidence is produced and taken up in an ecosystem that includes actors from different domains and with diverse agendas. The formulation and adoption of effective policies and programmes depends on a functional evidence ecosystem. The actors that are part of the WHO evidence ecosystem include WHO staff at headquarters, regional and country offices as well as stakeholders, including governments, nongovernment organizations (NGOs), civil society, researchers, and collaborating centres.

The evidence ecosystem can conceptually be divided into two distinct but interconnected domains: evidence creation and evidence application, linked either to policy or practice [63],[64]. A well-functioning evidence ecosystem with structures, capacity and incentives in place ensures that relevant evidence is available, accessible and used to inform decision-making.

A mix of tools and methods, regular dialogue and in-depth understanding between the actors of the ecosystem will support communities of primary, secondary and tertiary evidence producers and evidence users to work in synergy to enhance the use of research evidence for better decisions – both within WHO and at the country level. This puts WHO and Member countries in a favourable position to achieve the Triple Billion targets and the health related SDGs.

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