Building Capacity for Evidence-Based Public Health: Reconciling the Pulls of Practice and the Push of Research
Posted: 18 Jun 2018
Date Written: April 2018
Timely implementation of principles of evidence-based public health (EBPH) is critical for bridging the gap between discovery of new knowledge and its application. Public health organizations need sufficient capacity (the availability of resources, structures, and workforce to plan, deliver, and evaluate the preventive dose of an evidence-based intervention) to move science to practice. We review principles of EBPH, the importance of capacity building to advance evidence-based approaches, promising approaches for capacity building, and future areas for research and practice. Although there is general agreement among practitioners and scientists on the importance of EBPH, there is less clarity on the definition of evidence, how to find it, and how, when, and where to use it. Capacity for EBPH is needed among both individuals and organizations. Capacity can be strengthened via training, use of tools, technical assistance, assessment and feedback, peer networking, and incentives. Modest investments in EBPH capacity building will foster more effective public health practice.
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