The advisor’s dilemma

Informed decision making in times of limited evidence?

Thursday, 1 October 2020 | 11:30-13:00 | Room 2

Organised by Gesundheit Österreich GmbH (GÖG)

The COVID-19 period has marked a time of new and oftentimes seemingly impossible dilemmas for experts and knowledge-brokers when it comes to informing policy through evidence. During a fast-moving pandemic, delaying interventions may cost lives - but at the same time, the evidence base regarding impact and long-term effects of individual strategies can be scarce to non-existent.

This session will address the difficulties of delivering policy advice during an unprecedented crisis, when quick decisions are needed, expert opinions are sought more urgently than at any other time by policymakers, and the very definitions of what constitutes sound evidence are shifting. We will explore the challenging role of expert advisors during a crisis, discuss how different strategies in terms of governance, ownership, transparency and communication of policy advice can influence outcomes, and look to the future to ask: will our experiences during COVID-19 pandemic profoundly reshape the relationship between evidence and policy? Do we need to re-think the concept of evidence-based policy?

Session Recording

Speakers & panellists

Moderated by

  • Josep Figueras, Director, European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies
  • Claudia Habl, Head of International Affairs and Consultancy Department, Austrian National Public Health Institute (Gesundheit Österreich GmbH)


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