We are delighted and proud to announce that the World Health Organization (WHO) has re-designated the Knowledge to Policy (K2P) Center at the American University of Beirut as a WHO Collaborating Center for Evidence-Informed Policy and Practice for another four-year term. The re-designation stands as a recognition of K2P's leadership and dedication to shape and impact health and social policies and actions by providing context-specific solutions to complex policy issues, convening citizen panels and stakeholder dialogues, and building capacity for supporting-evidence informed policymaking in Lebanon, the Eastern Mediterranean region, and globally.
K2P Center is the first and only WHO Collaborating Center for Evidence-Informed Policy and Practice in Lebanon and the region, and the second of its kind globally after McMaster Forum in Canada. Since its first designation as a WHO Collaborating Center in 2015, K2P Center has undergone major transformations as part of ongoing efforts to support the use of evidence in policy and practice. It has expanded its scope of work from an initial focus on health to a broader focus on the sustainable development goals and multisectoral collaborations. It has also expanded its activities to encompass a range of innovations including rapid response services, evidence-based advocacy, citizen consultations, media engagement, and data visualizations. K2P Center has demonstrated impact at different levels, from building capacity in evidence-informed policymaking to changing cultures and mindsets, and influencing health and social policies nationally, regionally and globally.
K2P Founding Director Fadi El-Jardali affirms that this re-designation will further support K2P Center's vision of becoming a leading hub for strengthening public policy and practice and improving health and social outcomes in low- and middle-income countries. He also adds: “In the coming four years, we will continue to bridge the gap between science, policy, and politics; make research evidence more accessible to a broader range of stakeholders; build institutional capacity for evidence-informed policymaking, and seize opportunities to advocate and influence policy outcomes. We will continue to test models for knowledge translation that are culturally appropriate, relevant, and effective, and institutionalize new practices for transformative change in the way policies are developed and implemented in Lebanon, the region and globally."
Besides its recent re-designation, K2P Center is becoming a global leader for supporting evidence-informed policymaking and practice. It has been competitively selected by the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research at WHO as a lead mentor institute for developing sustainable institutional capacity for evidence-informed health policymaking of six mentee institutions selected to represent all six WHO regions. Additionally, K2P Center of the Faculty of Health Sciences, in collaboration with the Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government in Dubai, is the co-host of the Sixth Global Symposium on Health Systems Research (HSR2020)—the world's largest gathering on health systems—which is taking place for the first time in the Eastern Mediterranean region. HSR 2020 will welcome over 2,000 policymakers, researchers, practitioners, and funders from more than 100 countries in Dubai from November 8-12, 2020 to exchange ideas and learnings to advance the field of health policy and systems research and strengthen health systems around the world.