Making Research Responsive to Policymakers' Needs: A Roundtable Discussion about Systematic Reviews and Other Approaches to Evidence Synthesis
(Methods and Tools of Analysis)
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
A panelist from the World Health Organization (WHO) will discuss efforts to establish research synthesis capacity in lower and middle-middle income countries to inform policy. The Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning, Research, and Evaluation in the federal Administration on Children and Families (Naomi Goldstein, PhD, MPP) will provide her perspective as a consumer of systematic reviews and other types of synthesis. The Deputy Administrator at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality will draw on her agency’s efforts to develop new methods to make systematic reviews useful to both policymakers and individuals who lead health care delivery organizations, including through the use of machine learning and other tools that automate parts of the process. The Director of the McMaster University Health Forum’s Rapid Response program will discuss how his group provides quick turnaround research syntheses on health and social welfare topics to policymakers in the province of Ontario. Dr. Goldstein has confirmed her participation (subject to agency approval). I have invited each of the other three panelists speakers and am awaiting confirmation that they can participate as of the abstract submission deadline. If any are not able to participation, I have identified one or two back-ups for each panelist who would provide similar perspectives. For example, a DC-based expert from the Pan American Health Organization would be the alternate for our Geneva-based panelist from WHO. Most of the alternates are located in the DC area, increasing the likelihood they could participate if necessary.
The moderator will lead a discussion that focuses on (1) the role of research and research synthesis in informing policy; (2) challenges for policymakers seeking to understand bodies of research evidence; (3) the reasons for potential disconnects between policymaker needs and academic approaches to research synthesis; (4) practical tools for and examples of balancing methodological rigor with timeliness and responsiveness.