Collaboration Between Researchers and State Policymakers: Models for Achieving Evidence-Informed Policy

Slide presentation from the AHRQ 2009 conference.

On September 16, 2009, Andrew Coburn made this presentation at the 2009 Annual Conference. Select to access the PowerPoint® presentation (514 KB) (Plugin Software Help).


Slide 1

Collaboration Between Researchers and State Policymakers: Models for Achieving Evidence-Informed Policy

Andrew Coburn, Ph.D

Muskie School of Public Service
University of Southern Maine

AHRQ Annual Meeting
Bethesda, MD
September 16, 2009 

Slide 2

How Can We Expand The Use Of Health Services Research In State Health Policy?

One perspective...
"...Researchers Are From Mars; Policy Makers Are From Venus"


P. Feldman et al. (2001) Gerontologist 41:312-321 

Slide 3

Evidence-Informed Decision Making

The systematic application of the best available evidence to the evaluation of options and to decision-making in clinical, management, and policy settings.*

*Canadian Health Services Research Foundation. (2001) Health Services Research and Evidence-Based Decision-Making. Ottawa 

Slide 4

The Key Stages of EIDM

  • Policy Design
  • Identify problems
  • Review evidence and solution options
  • Assess stakeholder interests and concerns
  • Assess risks and costs to implementation
  • Prospects for successful outcomes
  • Policy Implementation
  • Track Implementation
  • Evaluation against objectives
  • Disseminate best practices
  • Assess policy effectiveness
  • Assess lessons learned

Slide 5

Key Stages in the Research Process

  • Defining questions and hypotheses
  • Casual model based on theory
  • Analysis and evaluation of findings
  • Knowledge summary/synthesis
  • Communication of results
  • Dissemination/knowledge transfer
  • Re-assessment of Question/problem

Slide 6

Models for Linking Research to Policy Decision Making

  • "Researcher-Push": Dissemination, translation, KT, research synthesis,
  • "User-Pull": Commissioned research, rapid response units, data and trends analysis, research synthesis
  • "Researcher-User Exchange": research-policy networks, informal policy-researcher exchange, "embedded" researcher
  • "Organizational Excellence": organizational strategy using multiple, integrated approaches to linking and using evidence.

Slide 7

Factors Influencing the Policy Process

Note: Image of a diagram showing Social Problem/Issue and Policies

Source: J. Lomas Improving Research Dissemination and Uptake in the Health Sector: Beyond the Sound of One Hand Clapping , 1997

Slide 8

The Use of Evidence in Policy Decision Making

  • Emphasis has been on promoting greater access to research through dissemination and knowledge transfer.
  • Follows tendency to view research and policy as products versus processes.

Slide 9

The Use of Evidence in Policy Decision Making

  • Instrumental versus conceptual uses of evidence: tendency is to focus on how evidence influences specific decisions, underplaying the role of evidence in influencing general knowledge, thinking, and culture.

Slide 10

What Facilitates Research Use In Policy Decision-making?

  • Benefits of using evidence are understood;
  • Users are partners in generating evidence;
  • Evidence is relevant, timely, and methodologically uncontested;
  • Results support political ideologies, are convenient and uncontentious;
  • Results have high degree of certainty (error and risk), are robust in implementation, and involve low costs.

Davies, Nutley, Smith, What Works? Evidence based policy and practice in public services (2000)

Slide 11

Final Thoughts

  • State capacity for EIDM is limited: how can we accelerate move to "rapid learning" in Medicaid and other state health policy?
  • Importance of using multiple strategies
  • Can we demonstrate results?
Current as of December 2009
Internet Citation: Collaboration Between Researchers and State Policymakers: Models for Achieving Evidence-Informed Policy. December 2009. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/events/conference/2009/coburn/index.html