The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated the Knowledge to Policy-K2P-Center as a WHO Collaborating Center for Evidence-Informed Policy and Practice. This designation, which is effective for a period of four years, is unique, since the K2P Center is the only WHO Collaborating Center for Evidence-Informed Policy and Practice in Lebanon and the region, and is the second WHO Collaborating Center of this kind globally after McMaster Health Forum in Canada.
The designation marked by WHO’s reference number (LEB-6) stands as a recognition of K2P’s outstanding impact-oriented approach in terms of synthesizing and translating evidence on public health and engaging stakeholders to impact policy and action at the national and regional level.
Established by the Faculty of Health Sciences at the American University of Beirut, the K2P Center is mainly funded by the International Development Research Center (IDRC). K2P is affiliated with the McMaster Health Forum in Canada and is supported by the Forum’s work in terms of some approaches and tools designed to influence policy agendas and actions. K2P Director is Dr. Fadi El-Jardali and the Associate Director is Dr. Rima Nakkash.
The K2P Center produces a variety of products from policy briefs, to briefing notes, evidence summaries, and dialogue summaries that are finely catered to the needs of policymakers and stakeholders.
The K2P provides a rapid response service and media bites. The media bite product is a unique service provided to assist journalists and media personnel in evidence-based health reporting.
The K2P functions include as well identifying policy-relevant priorities for evidence synthesis through a specific priority setting method, and convening policy dialogue meetings. K2P also conducts targeted capacity building workshops for policymakers and stakeholders, researchers, civil society groups, NGOs, media and international agencies to increase the capacity of making better-informed decisions that will ultimately improve the overall health status of citizens.
The Terms of Reference of the newly designated WHO Collaborating Center are:
TOR1. Conduct priority setting to identify policy-relevant priorities for evidence synthesis and knowledge translation products
TOR2. Build capacity in the production of evidence synthesis and knowledge translation products
TOR3. Produce evidence synthesis and knowledge translation products (e.g. systematic reviews, rapid reviews, guidelines, evidence briefs, evidence / SUPPORT summaries, guidance documents), prepare workbooks for the identified products, and conduct dialogues
To achieve the above activities, the K2P Center collaborates with the Center for Systematic Reviews on Health Policy and Systems Research (SPARK) which is a joint initiative between the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Health Sciences and the Clinical Epidemiology Unit (CEU) and the Grade Center at the Faculty of Medicine. SPARK supports the work plan of the newly designated WHO Collaborating Center by producing evidence synthesis products from systematic reviews, to rapid reviews, guidelines, and guidance documents.
K2P, SPARK, the CEU, and the Grade Center work together as a network for evidence synthesis and translation across the clinical, public health and health services continuum of health. Based on the joint collaborations between the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) and the Faculty of Medicine (FM), the WHO Collaborating Center for Evidence-Informed Policy and Practice will be co-directed by Dr. Fadi El-Jardali (FHS) and Dr. Elie Akl (FM).