Increasing emphasis has been placed on the importance of evidence in guiding violence prevention efforts. However, most resources commonly refer to evidence only in terms of traditional research evidence. A comprehensive approach to understanding evidence has been undertaken by the Division of Violence Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in developing guidance and tools for researchers, practitioners and policy makers to use in making decisions based on evidence. The Evidence Project incorporates three types of evidence for consideration in decision-making: (1) the best available research evidence assists in determining whether or not a prevention program, practice, or policy is actually achieving the outcomes it aims to and in the way it intends. The more rigorous a studies research design, (eg, randomised control trials, quasi-experimental designs), the more compelling the research evidence, indicating whether or not a strategy is effectively preventing violence; (2) experiential evidence – is based on the professional insight, understanding, skill, and expertise that is accumulated over time; and (3) Contextual evidence – is based on factors that address whether a strategy is useful, feasible to implement, and accepted by a particular community. This presentation will highlight how the three types of evidence form a comprehensive framework for evidence based decision making. Tools to facilitate a common understanding of the three types of evidence will be presented. For example, the ‘Continuum of Evidence of Effectiveness’” articulates what is meant by the best available research evidence in the field of violence prevention.
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