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Making evidence and policy in public health emergencies: Lessons from COVID-19 for adaptive evidence-making and intervention.

Lancaster, Kari; Rhodes, Tim and Rosengarten, Marsha. 2020. Making evidence and policy in public health emergencies: Lessons from COVID-19 for adaptive evidence-making and intervention. Evidence and Policy, 16(3), pp. 477-490. ISSN 1744-2648 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Background: In public health emergencies, evidence, intervention, decisions and translation proceed simultaneously, in greatly compressed timeframes, with knowledge and advice constantly in flux. Idealised approaches to evidence-based policy and practice are ill-equipped to deal with the uncertainties arising in evolving situations of need.
Key points for discussion: There is much to learn from rapid assessment and outbreak science approaches. These emphasise methodological pluralism, adaptive knowledge generation, intervention pragmatism, and an understanding of health and intervention as situated in their practices of implementation. The unprecedented challenges of novel viral outbreaks like COVID-19 do not simply require us to speed-up existing evidence-based approaches, but necessitate new ways of thinking about how a more emergent and adaptive evidence-making might be done. The COVID-19 pandemic requires us to appraise critically what constitutes ‘evidence-enough’ for iterative rapid decisions in-the-now. There are important lessons for how evidence and intervention co-emerge in social practices, and for how evidence-making and intervening proceeds through dialogue incorporating multiple forms of evidence and expertise.
Conclusions and implications: Rather than treating adaptive evidence-making and decision-making as a break from the routine, we argue that this should be a defining feature of an ‘evidence-making intervention’ approach to health.

Item Type:

Article

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.1332/174426420X15913559981103

Keywords:

Public health emergencies; Decision-making; Evidence-making intervention; COVID-19

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Sociology > Centre for Invention and Social Process (CISP) [2016-]

Dates:

DateEvent
5 June 2020Accepted
24 June 2020Published Online
August 2020Published

Item ID:

28784

Date Deposited:

15 Jun 2020 15:31

Last Modified:

16 Sep 2020 04:12

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/28784

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