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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 the field. However, most agree that evidence is extremely important for researchers, practitioners, and policy makers charged with the task of making decisions around the funding and implementation of violence prevention strategies.

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

Then the Understanding Evidence tool is for you. Understanding Evidence 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 taking into account the contextual and experiential factors that influence decisions. This free, online resource offers practitioners and others working to prevent violence important knowledge and resources for using evidence in their decision-making processes. 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 evidence, contextual evidence, 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.

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