How COVID-19 affects the use of evidence informed policymaking among Iranian health policymakers and managers

Bastani, Peivand, Bahmaei, Jamshid, Kharazinejad, Ebrahim, Samadbeik, Mahnaz, Liang, Zhanming, and Schneider, Carmen Huckel (2022) How COVID-19 affects the use of evidence informed policymaking among Iranian health policymakers and managers. Archives of Public Health, 80 (16).

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Background: The COVID-19 pandemic increased the need for new valid scientific evidence to support urgent clinical and policy decision making; as well as improved processes for the rapid synthesis, uptake and application of that evidence.  Evidence informed policymaking (EIPM) can be considered as a way to access and use the results of evidence in practice. This study aimed to determine what effects COVID-19 had on the way Iranian health managers and policymakers use evidence in their decisions.

Methods: This study was conducted in 2021 applying a qualitative research design. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews. Thirty health care managers, policy makers and medical university faculty members were recruited, initially via a purposive sample, followed by snowballing. A conventional content analysis presented by Hsieh and Shannon (2005) was applied for data analysis.

Results: Ten main themes emerged from the data including: 1) roles and duties of knowledge brokers (KBs); 2-5) the roles, benefits, barriers and necessities of applying Knowledge Translation Exchange (KTE) tools; 6-8) the facilitators, benefits and barriers to the application of evidence during COVID-19; 9) challenges of rapid evidence production evidence during COVID-19 and 10) consequences of not applying evidence during COVID-19. According to the present conceptual framework, KBs act as an intermediator between the large amounts of knowledge produced and decision makers. KTE tools should be applied to enhance EIPM during COVID-19. Attention should be paid to the facilitators, barriers, benefits and necessities of evidence application during COVID-19 to avoid negative consequences for the health system. 

Conclusions: Results of this study show that developing KTE tools and activating KBs can be among the main strategies to produce applied actionable messages for policymakers to move toward EIPM; and that this applies even when rapid decision making is required, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic.  It is strongly recommended to reinforce the local capacities through supporting scientific networks and relationships between research centers and local and national policymakers. At the same time, attention to local barriers to and facilitators of the application of evidence while facing a pandemic can pave the way to better identification of health system`s problems and rapid responses.

Item ID: 71231
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2049-3258
Keywords: Evidence informed Policy making, Knowledge Translation Exchange, Knowledge Broker, COVID-19, Health policymakers, Health managers, Iran
Copyright Information: © the Author(s) 2021. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Date Deposited: 15 Aug 2022 00:15
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420311 Health systems @ 100%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2002 Evaluation of health and support services > 200205 Health policy evaluation @ 100%
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