The WHO Evidence-Informed Guideline Development Process and Implications for Vitamin and Mineral Research Priorities
Neufeld, L. M., Jalal, C. S. B., Pena-Rosas, J. P., Tovey, D., Lutter, C. K., Stoltzfus, R. J., & Habicht, J-P. (2013). The WHO Evidence-Informed Guideline Development Process and Implications for Vitamin and Mineral Research Priorities: Symposium Rationale and Summary. Advances in Nutrition, 4(5), 557-559. DOI: 10.3945/an.113.004291
The WHO evidence-informed guidelines provide recommendations to Member States and their partners on interventions with vitamins and minerals. Evidence gathered and synthesized through systematic reviews contributes to the development of these guidelines, a process that is dependent on the availability and quality of evidence. Although the guideline development process is stringently governed and supervised to maintain clarity and transparency, the lack of adequacy and specificity of available evidence poses limitations to the formulation of recommendations that can be easily applied for policy and program decision making in diverse contexts. The symposium created a space for dialogue among scientists and public health practitioners to improve the understanding of how evidence fulfills the needs and reflect on mechanisms by which policy and program guidance and priorities for research could be better informed by policy and program needs. Ultimately, programmatic success depends not only on identifying efficacious agents but ensuring effective delivery to those with the potential to respond. To do this, we must understand the rationale for recommending interventions, the biological pathways by which interventions work, delivery systems required to make efficacious interventions work, and other contextual factors that might limit or facilitate successful implementation.