Translating Evidence into Policy

Instruction in the policy process and strategies for collecting and disseminating research findings to inform and influence that process. The course will be taught online over a 10-week period using a set of videos and guided readings. Trainees will be supported in their development of a policy strategy to address a healthcare problem of their own choosing. Participants will give and receive weekly feedback from instructors and peers about their policy strategy. They will also learn about and provide online feedback about the policy strategy that their classmates use to address other health care issues. Participants will emerge from this class with a clearer understanding of the policy process and how they can become information brokers capable of using evidence to inform the policy process.

At the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Determine what problems in health care are "ripe" for a policy solution.
  • Identify policy targets at the local, state, national, and international level.
  • Locate, interpret and influence existing legislative and administrative policy.
  • Map stakeholders around a policy issue and identify strategies to engage supporters or diffuse opponents.
  • Build strategic relationships with stakeholders engaged in a policy issue.
  • Develop strategies for disseminating research through the media to influence the policy process.
  • Organize effective communication strategies with policymakers to influence decision making.
  • Design community based participatory research or recognize how research is used in the policy process.
  • Plan and engage in community organizing and grassroots advocacy activities.
  • Design a logic model to guide implementation and evaluation of a policy campaign.
  • Assess your capacity to sustain your participation in the policy campaign.

Offered: Spring Term


Course Directors

Andrew Bindman, MD is professor of medicine, epidemiology & biostatistics, and an affiliated faculty member within the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies at the University of California, San Francisco. He served as director of the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) from May 2016 until the conclusion of the Obama administration. He is a primary care physician who has practiced and taught clinical medicine at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital while also conducting health services research to improve care within the health care safety net. In 2009-2010, he was a Robert Wood Johnson health policy fellow on the staff of the US House Energy and Commerce Committee and helped draft legislative language for the Affordable Care Act. From 2011 to 2014, Dr. Bindman served as a senior adviser to the US Department of Health and Human Services within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation and later was a senior adviser to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. He received his medical degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.

Brook Hollister, PhD is an Associate Professor and Principal Advisor for Policy and Dissemination in the Institute for Health & Aging at the University of California, San Francisco; and an Associate Professor in the Department of Health and Sports Sciences at the University of Agder, Norway.

Course Requirements

You are expected to view the video lectures; complete assigned readings and protocol assignments; constructively critique other students’ protocols via online forums; submit a final completed protocol paper and presentation; and complete course evaluations.

Completing this course will take an estimated 4-6 hours of work per module.