Global Evidence and Implementation Summit 2018

November 26, 2018

The Global Evidence and Implementation Summit (GEIS) 2018 brought together researchers, policymakers, academics and practitioners from across the globe to share their expertise and experiences in generating and implementing evidence for better policy and practice. Taking place in Melbourne, Australia on 22-24 October 2018, the summit was co-hosted by the Campbell Collaboration and the Centre for Evidence and Implementation (CEI).

Attended by 650 delegates from 40 countries, the summit shared the latest synthesis of evidence, implementation science and research and practice strategies for improving the health of individuals, families, and communities worldwide. GEIS’ overarching theme was evidence, synthesis, and implementation: creating impact for stronger communities around the world. Five core sub-themes discussed under the central theme were:

  1. Understanding what works
  2. Achieving scale and sustainability
  3. Methods for impact and implementation evaluation and synthesis
  4. Using evidence for better policy, programs, and practice
  5. National and global cooperation and partnerships.

One of the central issues discussed during the Summit was how evidence can be used to make informed decisions that lead to better practice, and eventually better health for everyone. This issue aligns with HEARD’s objective as the project aims to address the know-do-gap to improve population health. Evidence-informed policymaking is not a new concept, but the question remains about the extent to which this been practiced at each stage of policy development. A panel session during the summit brought together policymakers across state and federal governments in Australia discussing how evidence impacts policymaking. The panel of policymakers shared their insights on what kind of evidence they value: evidence that is digestible, actionable, and can help practitioners on the ground. Translating research and evidence into policy and practice is a complex process and requires collaboration. Panel members pointed out the challenge with collaboration is that it requires people to let go of what they strongly think will work to give space for other people’s ideas. During the discussion they emphasized that good quality collaboration is a product of strong leadership. Another point that is often missing from the evidence-informed decision-making process is that academics and policy makers often do not speak the same language, leading to the know-do gap. In some cases, this is where the function of knowledge broker comes in, bridging the divide between research and practice. 

Upcoming Implementation Science events include the What Works Global Summit hosted by the Campbell Collaboration in Mexico in 2019, and the Australasian Implementation Conference hosted by the Centre for Evidence and Implementation in 2020.