Publications Evidence synthesis for health policy and systems: a methods guide

Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research
EditorsÉtienne V. Langlois, Karen Daniels, Elie A. Akl
Publication date8 October 2018


This guide provides a rationale for synthesizing evidence from health policy and systems research (HPSR) to support health policy-making and health systems strengthening. It introduces key challenges in synthesizing HPSR evidence and provides guidance on addressing these issues, including suggestions for framing a synthesis question, assessing context-sensitive evidence, understanding complexity, addressing health equity, selecting the appropriate synthesis approaches for HPSR questions, presenting the evidence and making sense of the findings for health policy and systems decision-making.

This Guide examines various synthesis methods – quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods – and provides practical guidance to engage decision-makers in evidence synthesis, enhance the policy relevance of syntheses and foster the uptake of review findings in policy and practice.