Activity A: Setting the agenda of the workshop (5/6)
6. Characteristics of a well-formulated policy question
Remind workshop participants that a well-formulated question has the following characteristics:
- It responds to a relevant policy need or demand from decision makers.
- It can be answered by analysing existing quantitative data with available capacity.
- It provides a timely answer for policy use or decision making.
- It leads to an actionable recommendation and decision.
- In addition, it should be specific in its formulation and specific with regard to the subject of investigation (see the visual below).
- A sixth characteristic is discussed in more detail in the guidance note on data analysis (section 3.4). In fact, each question needs to be formulated in such a way that an appropriate data analysis method can be used. The NIPN platform focuses on data analysis using existing data, mainly from population-based surveys and routine monitoring data, which are less suitable for studying causal relationships or cost-effectiveness of interventions. Questions about causal relationships may require robust study design to collect data, as well as more elaborate data analysis methodologies, which will not lead to clear-cut answers and actionable recommendations for NIPN.