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Exploring awareness and use of evidence synthesis in public decision-making in Mexico

Exploring awareness and use of evidence synthesis in public decision-making in Mexico
Erika E. Atienzo de la Cruz

2017

School of Health and Related Research, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S10 2TN, UNITED KINGDOM.

ABSTRACT

This thesis investigates relationships between research evidence and policy in Mexico with a particular focus on the use of systematic reviews. A mixed- methods study is described which explored the appropriateness of conventional systematic reviews to produce syntheses for policy recommendations and included investigation of the use of systematic reviews by policy-makers and the factors moderating such use. To address the main research questions, a number of evidence syntheses were conducted on the topic of the prevention of youth violence which were complemented by interviews with policy-makers. The case of youth violence exemplifies some of the many challenges that researchers from less developed countries may face when synthesising literature to inform local policy-making. These challenges need to be acknowledged as they question the helpfulness of international evidence for developing policy recommendations at the local level in Mexico. The findings also highlight the many factors shaping the use of systematic reviews and scientific evidence in public institutions in the country. Factors that might be exclusive to the context of policy-making in Mexico emerged in the dialogues of the policy-makers. If the intention is to present usable research, then systematic reviews and research outputs need to be framed under the local policy-making context.