Working with policy-makers

Working with policy-makers
Working with policy-makers



Policymakers and healthcare managers are one of Cochrane’s target audiences. This page summarizes the resources available within Cochrane and provides links to external resources to help support this audience.

April 2019: Workshop for supporting policymakers in their use of synthesised evidence

As part of Cochrane’s Governance Meetings in Krakow in April 2019, KT advisors held a workshop aimed at providing training and guidance to Cochrane Groups who are, or who will imminently be, working with policy-makers.

The main presentation from the session was recorded and is available to watch online.

The handouts mentioned in the presentation, originally produced by McMaster Forum, are available here:

Other presentations from the session available to watch are :

Coming Soon! Evaluation report from the workshop session

A second workshop for Cochrane groups who want to work with policymakers will take place on Monday 21st October 2019, in Santiago, Chile (ahead of the Cochrane Colloqiuium). To learn more please contact Karen Head (

Getting started

In this 2017 Cochrane Learning Live webinar, John Lavis presents an overview of working with policymakers webinar which includes:

  • Understanding different types of policymakers
  • Policymakers and evidence synthesis questions
  • Policymakers and type of evidence syntheses
  • Making policy decisions

This article outlines the top 20 things that scientists should know about policy-making.

Developing reviews that meet the needs of policymakers

By working with policymakers using systematic and transparent processes we can identify policymakers priorities. These may include ‘long-term’ priorities where a new full or updated Cochrane review is needed, or ‘shorter-term’ priorities where they need a summary of evidence in a short space of time to decide on the direction of the policy.

A 2019 journal article summarises the experiences of researchers in Bangladesh to influence health policymakers and gives reference to a helpful framework to identify which issues may attract greater policy prioritisation.

  • Further resources can be found in the ‘Priority Setting’ section of the KT learning resources website

Packaging and Push

Once a Cochrane Review has been published or when a topic becomes an important issue for policymakers, Cochrane can support by working with policymakers to package evidence in a way which is helpful for them. This includes being aware of the context in which the policy decision will be made. Some general guidance on How to communicate effectively with policy makers is available.

  • Preparing policymaker relevant summaries of systematic reviews, such as support summaries produced by Cochrane Effective Practice and Organization of Care
  • Preparing evidence briefs on priority policy issues which provide a context specific overview of the problem, options and implementation. These are often initiated in discussion with policymakers.
    • Health Systems Evidence is a database of evidence briefs: These are freely available but may need to be adapted according to the local context.
  • Other resources for packaging and disseminating evidence are available in the ‘Disseminating Cochrane evidence’ section of the Cochrane KT learning resources website.

Strategic partnerships

Developing strong relationships either directly with policymakers or with organisations can influence policymaking, can be instrumental in supporting evidence informed policy decisions.

There are also lots of other organisations who are working with local, regional and national policymakers to promote the use of evidence in health policy. It may be useful to map the stakeholders who are involved in the policymaking process in your area.

Building capacity for policymakers to find and use Cochrane evidence

Although many policymakers know the importance of using  evidence to develop policy, others may need some support in developing specific skills.

If you are thinking of working with policymakers to help them find and use evidence, the following resources may be useful:

Other useful resources

Please contact us ( if you would like more information or know of more resources.