Integration of Traditional, Complementary, and Integrative Medicine (TCIM) in the Institutionalization of Evidence-Informed Decision-making


Hybrid Side event at the 2024 Prince Mahidol Award Conference

23 January 2024, Bangkok, Thailand

The WHO Evidence to
Policy and Impact Unit (Research for Health Department) and the Evidence Unit
of the WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine are are hosting a collaborative side event at the 2024 Prince Mahidol Award Conference (PMAC) exploring the current state of Evidence-informed policy-making (EIDM) institutionalization globally and the implications of its intersections with Traditional, Complementary, and Integrative Medicine (TCIM) in fostering inclusivity, health equity, epistemic justice, and decolonial global health governance. The side event will explore potential mechanisms (infrastructure, conditions, frameworks) for enhancing the use of evidence in global policy development toward realizing TCIM’s contribution to health and wellbeing.

The use of evidence in policy and decision-making has exponentially grown, and it is now considered standard practice within health systems. However, the gap between research and practice persists. The WHO has advanced initiatives that promote the institutionalization of Evidence-informed decision/policy-making (EIDM), such the Evidence-Informed Policy Network (EVIPNet), and tools, such as the WHO checklist for supporting the routine use of evidence during the policy-making process. The checklist, currently pilot-tested to assess its validity and feasibility, highlights six domains (governance; standards and routinized processes; leadership and commitment; resources and capacity-building/strengthening; partnership, collective action, and support; and culture), and five processes of EIDM institutionalization.

The Gujarat Declaration of the first WHO Global Summit on Traditional Medicine (17-18 August 2023, Gandhinagar, India) articulated an action agenda including a focus on research and evidence. It proposed “making appropriate use of existing and new research, evidence syntheses and knowledge translation principles and WHO initiatives.” It also recommended capacity strengthening “to produce, translate and use TCIM research and Indigenous knowledges” and supporting “the evidence-based integration of TCIM in national health policies and systems based on highest quality research.”

This side event, a first step in advancing toward the evidence-related proposals of the Gujarat Declaration, seeks to assess the advances and challenges of integrating TCIM in EIDM institutionalization globally and the needed conditions to strengthen it.

Further information about the side event on the PMAC website:


Side Event Agenda:

Welcoming and introduction: Tanja Kuchenmüller, Unit Head, Evidence to Policy and Impact Unit, Research for Health Department, Science Division, WHO.

Session A. Overview of WHO-led EIDM initiatives, and country-level examples. 

Session Chair: Laurenz Mahlanza-Langer, Executive Director, Pan-African Collective for Evidence (PACE), South Africa.

  1. WHO-led initiatives on EIDM institutionalization and citizen engagement. Tanja Kuchenmüller.
  2. Supporting the routine use of evidence during policy-making: A pilot study of World Health Organization’s EIDM checklist. Mukdarut Bangpan, Associate Professor in Evidence-Informed Policy and Development, University College London, United Kingdom.
  3. Approaches to EIDM institutionalization and citizen engagement: country development, barriers, and facilitators:
    • Thailand: Citizen Engagement in Evidence-informed policy-making. Tipicha Posayanonda, Director of Knowledge and Innovation Management Department, National Health Commission Office, Thailand.
    • Brazil: Facilitating synergies in EIDM: engaging the public sector, academia, and civil society. Laura dos Santos Boeira, Executive Director, Veredas Institute, Brazil.
  4. Comments on implications of the inclusion of TCIM in EIDM institutionalization and citizen engagement initiatives: Anchalee Chutaputti, Advisor (International cooperation), Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine.  Mariana Cabral Schveitzer, Adjunct Professor, Department of Preventive Medicine, Federal University of São Paulo, Brazil.
  5. Q&A

Session B. Global situation assessment / Critical analysis of TCIM-related knowledge translation and TCIM incorporation in EDIM processes.

Session Chair: Amie Steel, Associate Professor, Australian Research Consortium in Complementary and Integrative Medicine, Faculty of Health, University of Technology Sydney, Australia.

  1. The Gujarat Declaration principles and overview of the WHO GTMC’s Evidence Workstream. Geetha Krishnan G Pillai, Evidence Unit Head, WHO Global Traditional Medicine Center-GTMC.
  2. TCIM integration implications in EIDM: proposals for the new WHO 2025-2034 TCIM Global Strategy. Liu Qin, Technical Officer, Traditional, Complementary, and Integrative Medicine Unit, Department of Integrated Health Services, WHO.
  3. Epistemic pluralism, epistemic justice, and implications for decolonial EIDM in TCIM. Nadine Ijaz, Assistant Professor, Department of Law and Legal Studies, Carleton University, Canada.
  4. Translating traditional knowledge and re-indigenizing clinical practice, research, policy, and education. Alana Gall, Co-Vice Chair, World Federation of Public Health Associations Indigenous Working Group;⁠ Indigenous Traditional Medicines Representative, Traditional, Complementary and Integrative Health Coordination Council, The People’s Declaration for Traditional, Complementary and Integrative Healthcare.
  5. Empowering communities through TCIM-informed policies. Darshan Shankar, Chancellor, Trans-disciplinary University, Bangalore, India.
  6. Participatory Panel (All presenters): Advances and challenges in translating traditional and Indigenous therapeutic knowledge systems into policy.

Session C. Participatory Workshop proposing next steps to address known research and practice gaps for TCIM’s inclusion in EIDM

Workshop Co-Facilitators: Mukdarut Bangpan, Associate Professor in Evidence-Informed Policy and Development, University College London, United Kingdom. Amie Steel, Associate Professor, Australian Research Consortium in Complementary and Integrative Medicine, Faculty of Health, University of Technology Sydney, Australia. Daniel F. Gallego-Perez, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA.


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