The Partnership for Evidence and Equity in Responsive Social Systems (PEERSS)

Advancing evidence-informed policymaking in the social systems

How can we improve policymakers’ access to and use of high-quality evidence for policymaking in the health and social sectors? R4D collaborated with evidence-informed policymaking (EIP) partners across 13 countries to strengthen and advance systems for EIP and enable better decisions and better lives.

The Challenge

Policymakers often face complex choices with limited time and resource constraints. When equipped with the knowledge, skills, and organizational support to routinely access evidence as they weigh options, policymakers and other change agents can be supported in making better decisions. However, challenges still exist within a fragmented ecosystem where evidence generators, knowledge translators, and policymakers are not systematically connected to facilitate routine access to evidence. These challenges include:

  • Limited access to quality, timely, and relevant evidence
  • Lack of time, skills, and knowledge for finding, synthesizing, and applying evidence
  • Limited organizational and institutional capacity to support the routine use of evidence
  • Evidence that is hard to understand and relate to from their own experiences and context
  • Limited opportunities for evidence producers, translators, and users to engage in co-creating research questions and making sense of the evidence

The Opportunity

The urgency to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has led to an increased effort by policymakers, decision-makers, and program planners to explore how to adopt comprehensive, multisector policies and interventions to improve broader social systems and transform people’s lives. Within these efforts is a heightened recognition of the need to use evidence to inform and strengthen policy and program development and implementation; improve monitoring and evaluation; and promote learning. Policymakers thus need access to timely, quality, and contextually relevant evidence to inform all aspects of the policy process.

Our Work

The Partnership for Evidence and Equity in Responsive Social Systems (PEERSS) was a global partnership that brought together 15 organizations across 13 countries from 2018 to 2023. From its inception, PEERSS aimed to identify shared challenges and facilitate knowledge and lesson sharing to strengthen evidence production, translation, and use, and build conducive environments for EIP within their respective contexts, with the aim of advancing the SDGs.

PEERSS was jointly funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC). Results for Development (R4D), serving as the Coordinating Organization (CO) for the partnership, facilitated collaborative and peer learning, connected country teams to coaching, mentoring, and technical support, synthesized progress and lessons learned, and implemented an internal and external communications strategy.

During this time, the partnership has:

  • Generated evidence-based strategies to advance EIP in varying social and political contexts
  • Convened forums of EIP leaders, practitioners, and advocates to share lessons learned and drive progress
  • Promoted greater alignment and harmonization for coordinated support and investment towards, and momentum behind, EIP within our own organizations and across the globe
  • Established EIP hubs that coached, mentored, and co-created alongside 13 country teams seeking to understand, support, and enhance EIP in their countries and regions




International Development Research Centre, William & Flora Hewlett Foundation


Africa Center for Evidence (ACE), University of Johannesburg, South Africa, African Institute for Health Policy & Health Systems, Ebonyi State University, Nigeria, Caribbean Centre for Health Systems Research and Development (CCHSRD), University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago, Center for Rapid Evidence Synthesis (ACRES), University of Makerere, Uganda, Center for the Development of Best Practices in Health, Yaoundé Central Hospital, Cameroon, Evidence for Policy & Practice Information (EPPI) Centre, University College London, United Kingdom , Evidence-Informed Health Policies Unit (UPSIE), MOH, Chile, Fiocruz Brasília, Brazil, Institute for Health Data Science, Lanzhou University, China, Instituto Veredas, Brazil, Knowledge Management and Transfer Unit (KMTU), MOH, Burkina Faso, Knowledge to Policy (K2P) Center, American University of Beirut, Lebanon, Knowledge Translation Directorate, Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) Ethiopia, Social Policy and Research Department/Codeplan, Brazil, Unit of Evidence and Deliberation for Decision Making (UNED), Faculty of Medicine, University of Antioquia, Colombia



Global & Regional Initiatives

R4D is a globally recognized leader for designing initiatives that connect implementers, experts and funders across countries to build knowledge and get that knowledge into practice.