Evidence Gap Maps as Critical Information Communication Devices for Evidence-based Public Policy

Paper by Esteban Villa-Turek et al: “The public policy cycle requires increasingly the use of evidence by policy makers. Evidence Gap Maps (EGMs) are a relatively new methodology that helps identify, process, and visualize the vast amounts of studies representing a rich source of evidence for better policy making. This document performs a methodological review of EGMs and presents the development of a working integrated system that automates several critical steps of EGM creation by means of applied computational and statistical methods. Above all, the proposed system encompasses all major steps of EGM creation in one place, namely inclusion criteria determination, processing of information, analysis, and user-friendly communication of synthesized relevant evidence. This tool represents a critical milestone in the efforts of implementing cutting-edge computational methods in usable systems. The contribution of the document is two-fold. First, it presents the critical importance of EGMs in the public policy cycle; second, it justifies and explains the development of a usable tool that encompasses the methodological phases of creation of EGMs, while automating most time-consuming stages of the process. The overarching goal is the better and faster information communication to relevant actors like policy makers, thus promoting well-being through better and more efficient interventions based on more evidence-driven policy making…(More)”.