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Using Different Types of Evidence in Decision Making

Graphic: Silhouettes of people and buildingsThis free online resource offers practitioners and others working to prevent violence with important knowledge and resources for using evidence in their decision-making processes.

Why use evidence to inform decision making?

Increasing emphasis has been placed on the importance of evidence in guiding violence prevention efforts. Definitions of what constitutes “evidence” have been debated in the literature and in the field. However, most agree that evidence is extremely important for researchers, practitioners, and policy makers charged with making decisions around funding and implementing violence prevention strategies.

Want to learn to use evidence to inform your violence prevention activities?

The Understanding Evidence tool is for you if you want to inform violence prevention activities. The tool is an interactive Web resource developed by CDC’s Division of Violence Prevention that supports public health practitioners in making evidence-informed decisions around violence prevention. The goal of evidence-based decision making is to bring a high standard of research evidence into the decision-making process while considering the contextual and experiential factors that influence those decisions. The Understanding Evidence tool is a free online resource that offers important knowledge and resources for using evidence in decision-making processes to practitioners and others working to prevent violence.

Graphic: Contextual evidence. Experiential evidence. Best available research evidence.This online tool teaches practitioners how to:

  • Define the multiple forms of evidence involved in evidence-based decision making.
  • Identify standards of rigor for best available research evidence.
  • Identify sources of and ways to collect best available research, contextual, and experiential evidence.
  • Identify key stages and characteristics of an evidence-based decision-making process.

Who is the tool for?

Understanding Evidence is designed primarily for violence prevention practitioners. However, anyone working to prevent violence in their communities will find the information useful including CDC grantees, researchers, program evaluators, technical assistance providers, and decision makers.