Building Capacity for Evidence-Based Public Health: Reconciling the Pulls of Practice and the Push of Research

Posted: 18 Jun 2018

See all articles by Ross C. Brownson

Ross C. Brownson

Washington University in St. Louis

Lawrence W. Green

University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) - School of Medicine

Jonathan E. Fielding

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Jonathan and Karin Fielding School of Public Health

Date Written: April 2018

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Brownson, Ross C. and Green, Lawrence W. and Fielding, Jonathan E., Building Capacity for Evidence-Based Public Health: Reconciling the Pulls of Practice and the Push of Research (April 2018). Annual Review of Public Health, Vol. 39, pp. 27-53, 2018, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3197569 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-publhealth-040617-014746

Ross C. Brownson

Washington University in St. Louis ( email )

One Brookings Drive
Campus Box 1208
Saint Louis, MO MO 63130-4899
United States

Lawrence W. Green (Contact Author)

University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) - School of Medicine ( email )

513 Parnassus Ave
San Francisco, CA 94143
United States

Jonathan E. Fielding

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Jonathan and Karin Fielding School of Public Health ( email )

650 Charles E. Young Drive South
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States

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