You may not be relying on the best available evidence to make decisions and design programs — here’s why.

Boosting the social impact sector’s culture of preparedness by bringing global evidence practices to Canada

Why It Matters

Sometimes the right evidence reaches the right people at the right time. Sometimes it doesn’t, with dire consequences. The pandemic heightened the need to inject best evidence into the social impact response. And there’s never been a more pressing time to learn from what worked and what didn’t in getting best evidence to those who need it so we can better prepare for catastrophes of all kinds. From public health crises to natural disasters and humanitarian emergencies, relying on the best local and global evidence is crucially important, but it shouldn’t take an active crisis to invest in the infrastructure needed for reliable and decision-relevant data and evidence.

This story is in partnership with the Canadian Red Cross (Red Cross).

In the throes of the pandemic’s first waves and lockdowns, Dr. Paul Hébert, special advisor for the Canadian Red Cross, advised the public to reach out to anyone in their social group who may be vulnerable to the social and psychological impacts related to COVID-19. At the time, new survey data showed nearly half of young adults in Canada were experiencing elevated anxiety and symptoms of depression, 40 percent were not feeling hopeful about the future, and 38 percent worried they couldn’t get immediate help if they needed it. 

“Young people (18- to 34-year-olds) were adversely affected — financially, emotionally, everything, their world was rocked. You

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