This program focuses on developing and revising national and sub-national policies and clinical guidelines using existing and emergent scientific evidence. AAP clinical and policy leaders, in partnership with country-level experts, will review existing policies and guidelines, identify potential gaps, and recommend new and/or revised guidance to benefit child and adolescent health at the national and sub-national levels.
Why is this Program Important?
National health policies, strategies, and plans are essential to defining a country’s vision for supporting its population’s health and well-being across the life-course. Evidence-based and up-todate federal policies and guidelines strengthen health systems , particularly when directly linked to a country’s national budget (i.e., ensuring specific line items for health initiatives).
Having strong evidence-based policies and clinical care guidelines can benefit pediatric practice and quality of care. However, developing national or sub-national policy can often be a lengthy process and make it difficult for health systems to be responsive to emerging health issues. AAP has expertise and experience in supporting rapid policy development and supporting buy-in of government and medical communities alike.
Who Can Benefit?
Typically, this program is for institutions and organizations looking to enhance existing pediatric health policies and guidelines or to design a process for future policy and guideline development. For example, in recent years, many countries have introduced national non-communicable disease (NCD) plans. Globally the Sustainable Development Goals explicitly support a reduction of NCD-related deaths by 2030. A country may have
adopted an NCD workplan but failed to fully include specific pediatric protocols within it. This program, in partnership with local organizations, would explore existing policies, identify gaps, and make recommendations for introducing a revised policy.
The AAP has an extensive history of supporting policy and guideline development, directly for child health providers (e.g., AAP Clinical Reports) and by offering expert consultation to US government policy. The combination of AAP member expertise and staff legislative experience has made the AAP a trusted, credible leader on Capitol Hill for more than 90 years. It has also allowed the AAP to help support similar capacity building in other organizations within and outside of the United States.
The AAP is experienced in supporting policy and guideline development within our own organization but also in building capacity for other organizations. For example, we have worked with MOHs in Eastern and Southern Caribbean countries to develop Zika care guidelines for pediatric populations using emerging global guidance and evidence adapted for available diagnostic and care practices.
How is the Program Implemented?
Policy and guideline development is an iterative process that begins with a needs assessment which is completed with the local institution and AAP staff to understand the policies and/ or guidelines that need to be established or reviewed. The needs assessment will include technical review of all existing clinical guidelines and policies; a landscape analysis and assessment of existing clinical infrastructure, capacities, and stakeholders; and a complete review of the emergent subject matter evidence. The assessment will be led by an appropriate group of technical experts made up of local and AAP experts. Review of evidence will include traditional review of published clinical recommendations as well as review of emerging evidence published in the literature. Using the results from the assessment phase, policies and/or guidelines will be revised to incorporate key recommendations by the team of experts. The development process is iterative and will require a convening of the medical community and key stakeholders to review the revised policy and/or guidelines and incorporate their feedback and expertise into a final policy. Once finalized, the expert team will also draft revised implementation guidance. This will follow the same iterative process as the policy review to ensure the guidance is relevant and appropriate to those who will be implementing it. Finally, the AAP will support the dissemination of the policy and implementation tools.
Interested in the Program?
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American Academy of Pediatrics