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How can we support the use of systematic reviews in policymaking?

By 9 July 2010

The article, How Can We Support the Use of Systematic Reviews in Policymaking? Talks about how the landscape has changed for policy makers, why systematic reviews* are important for policy makers and how to support the use of reviews.

Summary points:

  • Policy makers need many types of systematic reviews synthesized and packaged for them, and the use of this evidence supported in multiple complementary ways.
  • Policy makers and stakeholders need many types of systematic reviews, for example reviews of qualitative studies to help understand alternative frameworks and to appreciate other perspectives.
  • Policy makers now have access to many review derived products eg summaries and overviews of systematic reviews and questions and insights to address the problem with implementation strategies.
  • A range of activities are being undertaken to support the use of reviews and review-derived products in policymaking, all of which warrant rigorous evaluation.
  • Future challenges include: (1) examining whether and when any apparent duplication of efforts occurs in the production of review-derived products at the international level; and (2) scaling up activities that are found to be effective in supporting the use of reviews and review-derived products in policymaking.
Title: Author: John Lavis Year: 2009

*A systematic review is a literature review that aims to provide a comprehensive summary of literature to a research question. It focuses on a question that is trying to identify, assess and synthesize all research evidence relevant to that question.