Intended for healthcare professionals


Better evidence for smarter policy making

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: (Published 01 December 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i6399

Chinese translation


  1. David J Hunter, professor of health policy and management,
  2. Shelina Visram, senior lecturer in public policy and health
  1. Centre for Public Policy and Health, Durham University, Durham, UK
  1. Correspondence to: D J Hunter d.j.hunter{at}

European countries endorse WHO’s action plan

As countries struggle to transform their health systems to cope with rising demand, ageing populations, and largely avoidable lifestyle related illnesses within limited budgets, policy makers are desperate for the right kind of evidence. It is not the “what” question that preoccupies them, since the main components of health system transformation are well known and accepted, but how to implement them.1

It is therefore timely that WHO Europe is seeking to strengthen the use of evidence and research for policy making. Its action plan was endorsed by all 53 member states at the recent regional committee meeting in Copenhagen.2 The goal is to consolidate, strengthen, and promote the generation and use of multidisciplinary and intersectoral sources of evidence for making health policy in line with the health related sustainable development goals and the Health 2020 policy framework.3 One of the four agreed areas for action is knowledge translation and …

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