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Table 4 Themes and sub-themes identified across data collection methods

From: Evaluation of the performance and achievements of the WHO Evidence-informed Policy Network (EVIPNet) Europe

Demonstrating value Network growth
Essential for building commitment to the Network and securing further resources and sustainability EVIPNet has evolved over time both vertically and horizontally, which has created challenges
 • EVIPNet Europe is filling a gap – there are no similar networks in Europe at present
 • Gaining commitment is challenging because it is difficult to demonstrate value for evidence-informed policy
 • Sharing stories of success from other countries or regions helps improve understanding of, and commitment to, EIP
 • Further sharing of the EVIPNet Europe vision at the country level is needed
 • Greater use of strategic levers and advocacy to gather commitment at a high level will help gain commitment and provide a clearer mandate for countries to join the network
 • Substantial horizontal growth, with the Network growing from 13 countries initially to 21 within a few years
 • The current resources are insufficient to fully meet member countries’ needs; integration into other programme-specific work and the use of BCAsa to formalise the approach could help
 • The use of country cohortsb to facilitate cross-WHO work is a promising approach
 • Large variability in development of Network member countries, making training and multi-country meetings more challenging to organise
 • There are challenges to the sustainability of country work, with many countries still requiring WHO funding and further technical support
 • There is a lack of institutionalisation (vertical growth), no KTPs are yet established
 • EVIPNet Europe has established a structure but many stakeholders are not aware of the accountability processes, e.g. through M&E
Network activities and processes People
The Network and tools created are valued and members feel they are useful and relevant
 • The logical step-wise approach to, and methodology for, EIP are appreciated
 • The lack of a mandate (obligatory requirement) for EIP and associated products is a challenge for countries
 • The WHO Secretariat has developed five support instruments and resources to date, though some gaps for tools were highlighted
 • Technical capacity-building workshops and support instruments are an important part of the EVIPNet Europe approach and are valued, though more work is needed
 • Most communication is currently largely one way from the WHO Secretariat to member countries and the use of social network communication (Yammer) has decreased over time. Face-to face communication is important to establish and build relationships
 • Sharing and networking are important for sharing experiences and lessons learnt and for mentorship by other countries and regions
Financial and human resources are limited and staff turnover both at the EVIPNet and country team levels is a cause for concern
 • Individuals, personalities and relationships are important; WHO country offices play an important facilitating role; lack of coordination between agencies can be a barrier
 • Staff turnover at the level of the WHO Secretariat, WHO country offices, Ministry of Health, national champions and at the political level is a challenge
 • Partnerships with external and internal collaborators have been established at the Regional level; however, formal partnerships at the country level are more limited
 • Human capacity and financial resources were raised as an issue for country teams as well as the Secretariat; country teams are often reliant on limited staff, without dedicated funding or terms of reference
 • To help compensate for limited human and financial resources, the WHO Secretariat has been successful in utilising organisational resources, including core funding for intercountry work, and BCA funds (unique to the European Region) for country-level worka
  1. BCA biennial collaborative agreement, EIP evidence-informed policy, KTP knowledge translation platforms, M&E monitoring and evaluation
  2. a The BCAs express an official commitment, as a contractual arrangement between the Member State and WHO to undertake EVIPNet Europe-related KT activities
  3. b The country cohorts are where a group of EVIPNet member countries work together on developing evidence briefs for policy for a particular issue (e.g. for antimicrobial resistance), supported by an external facilitator and complemented by guidance provided by the WHO Secretariat of EVIPNet and the programme team from WHO. This has allowed increased visibility and joint funding, increasing the resources available as well as inclusion in country BCAs and, therefore, within priority areas