SUPPORT Tools for evidence-informed health Policymaking (STP). 4: using research evidence to clarify a problem

    Publication year: 2009

    This article is part of a series written for people responsible for making decisions about health policies and programmes and for those who support these decision makers. Policymakers and those supporting them often find themselves in situations that spur them on to work out how best to define a problem. These situations may range from being asked an awkward or challenging question in the legislature, through to finding a problem highlighted on the front page of a newspaper. The motivations for policymakers wanting to clarify a problem are diverse. These may range from deciding whether to pay serious attention to a particular problem that others claim is important, through to wondering how to convince others to agree that a problem is important. Debates and struggles over how to define a problem are a critically important part of the policymaking process.

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