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Mobilising knowledge in complex health systems: A call to action

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Prof David Hunter



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


© Policy Press 2017. 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.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Holmes BJ, Best A, Davies H, Hunter D, Kelly MP, Marshall M, Rycroft-Malone J

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Evidence and Policy

Year: 2017

Volume: 13

Issue: 3

Pages: 539-560

Print publication date: 01/08/2017

Online publication date: 15/08/2016

Acceptance date: 10/07/2016

ISSN (print): 1744-2648

ISSN (electronic): 1744-2656

Publisher: Policy Press


DOI: 10.1332/174426416X14712553750311