Leveraging evidence for policy change and societal transformation  

Monday, 15 November 2021, 15:00-15:50 CET

Interpretation available: ARA, FRA, POR, RUS, SPA

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a wake-up call for better collaboration at the interface of evidence, policy and society. A key challenge to many decision-makers was the rapidly evolving body of new and at times conflicting evidence. The global health crisis has, furthermore, thrown the inherently political character of health policy-making into sharp relief. 

Institutional mechanisms for evidence-informed decision-making, fostering both formal and informal relationships between evidence producers, users, and brokers, helped decision-makers to sort fact from fiction and navigate actionable evidence almost in real time. COVID-19 demonstrated that responding to the fast-paced developments of a health emergency requires evidence-to-policy systems that can swiftly deliver relevant, high-quality, and trustworthy evidence. 

The high-level roundtable with Ministers of Health from around the world will reflect on the role of evidence-policy mechanisms during COVID-19. The distinguished speakers will explore which investments will be needed to strengthen the capacities and capabilities of national systems to improve decision-making - both in routine processes and in future global crises.

Key questions and session highlights 

  • Which sources of evidence have proven most useful for policy and political decisions in response to the pandemic? 

  • Which specific institutions and evidence-to-policy mechanisms have governments relied on to facilitate evidence use in policies? 

  • What steps should be taken to strengthen and institutionalize multisectoral research-policy systems at national level?

  • What next steps should be taken in order to strengthen research-policy collaboration and systems globally?

Ministerial Panel