Communiating health research (6) EVIPNet Americas: Overcoming barriers to integrate scientific evidence and health policies in the Americas

5 July, 2022

From The Lancet Regional Health Americas 2022. Read online:

CITATION: News| volume 12, 100299, august 01, 2022

EVIPNet Americas: Overcoming barriers to integrate scientific evidence and health policies in the Americas

Cristián Mansilla et al. The Lancet Regional Health Americas 2022

Published:June 14, 2022 DOI:

In response to the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic to the role of evidence in policymaking, the World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) convened the first Global Evidence-to-Policy (E2P) Summit. This summit brought together different stakeholders from all WHO Regions to identify common challenges, share lessons learned, and provide recommendations to support evidence-informed decision-making as a catalyst for policy and societal changes.

The E2P summit was organized by the Evidence-Informed Policy Network (EVIPNet), a global initiative with strong experience in promoting the use of evidence in policymaking. In the Americas, EVIPNet has supported countries since 2007 in informing decisions with scientific evidence, with active long-lasting commitments from different countries,2 including Brazil3 and Chile.4

As part of the Summit, PAHO convened an EVIPNet Americas regional meeting to discuss the processes for using scientific evidence for the COVID-19 pandemic response and the challenges faced in translating this knowledge into policies in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). The event contributed to strengthening the EVIPNet Americas network. Three different panels were convened that provided insights into the use of evidence during the COVID-19 pandemic, experiences of Ministries of Health, and shared strategies and mechanisms for institutionalizing the use of evidence. The panels and participants shared important insights and lessons from different institutions in different countries (including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, and Peru). They reflected on several experiences of encouraging the use of evidence by public institutions to effectively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the need to better communicate evidence, to strengthen the relationship between evidence producers and decision makers, and for greater capacity-building in non-pandemic times to ensure better preparedness.

EVIPNet Americas and PAHO have used their experience in supporting LAC countries to encourage collaboration between stakeholders and to use evidence better in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic (see Table 1). The E2P Summit created a global venue to share lessons and seize the momentum created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The EVIPNet Call for Action was launched during the Summit, explicitly inviting governments, intergovernmental organizations, funders and other key stakeholders to join EVIPNet and commit to 16 concrete steps towards better evidence-informed decision-making. The critical insights and lessons learned from the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic will help EVIPNet Americas to better support countries in LAC to close the gap between evidence and decision-making processes.


Neil Pakenham-Walsh, Global Coordinator HIFA,

Working in official relations with WHO