WHO Collaborating Centre for Evidence-Informed Policy
The McMaster Health Forum was designated as the WHO Collaborating Centre for Evidence-Informed Policy in December 2010. The centre’s co-directors are John Lavis, director of the McMaster Health Forum and Holger Schünemann, chair of the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at McMaster University.
The four-year designation was the culmination of a year-long process to design and coordinate plans for advancing the priorities of PAHO and WHO in the field of knowledge translation, through the new collaborating centre. The designation enhances the Forum’s opportunities for applying its innovative initiatives to ensure that the best available evidence on pressing health challenges is incorporated into decisions on health system policies throughout the world.
Both PAHO and WHO have a long-standing practice of working in partnership with existing organizations such as research institutes, universities and academies, as they believe research in the field of health is best advanced by assisting, coordinating and making use of the activities of existing institutions.
In addition to supporting and improving health systems research and development, the collaborating centre also supports the implementation of the PAHO Policy on Research for Health and the WHO Strategy on Research for Health.
Through training and educational activities such as workshops and stakeholder dialogues, developing products such as guidelines, manuals, online training materials (e.g., cebgrade.mcmaster.ca) and methodologies, and supporting the implementation of WHO programs at the country level (including the WHO-sponsored Evidence-Informed Policy Network), the collaborating centre works to increase the capacity of individual countries and their institutions to make better-informed decisions with regard to healthcare policy and delivery that will ultimately improve the overall health status of citizens.
Activities specific to the Forum’s designation as a collaborating centre include: