Evidence & Policy
A journal of research, debate and practice

Mobilising knowledge in complex health systems: a call to action

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Bev J HolmesMichael Smith Foundation for Health Research, Canada

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Allan BestInSource Research Group, Canada

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Huw DaviesUniversity of St Andrews, UK

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David HunterDurham University, UK

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Michael P KellyUniversity of Cambridge, UK

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Martin MarshallUniversity College London, UK

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Joanne Rycroft-MaloneBangor University, UK

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Worldwide, policymakers, health system managers, practitioners and researchers struggle to use evidence to improve policy and practice. There is growing recognition that this challenge relates to the complex systems in which we work. The corresponding increase in complexity-related discourse remains primarily at a theoretical level. This paper moves the discussion to a practical level, proposing actions that can be taken to implement evidence successfully in complex systems. Key to success is working with, rather than trying to simplify or control, complexity. The integrated actions relate to co-producing knowledge, establishing shared goals and measures, enabling leadership, ensuring adequate resourcing, contributing to the science of knowledge-to-action, and communicating strategically.

Bev J HolmesMichael Smith Foundation for Health Research, Canada

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Allan BestInSource Research Group, Canada

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Huw DaviesUniversity of St Andrews, UK

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David HunterDurham University, UK

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Michael P KellyUniversity of Cambridge, UK

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Martin MarshallUniversity College London, UK

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Joanne Rycroft-MaloneBangor University, UK

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