Briefing note template

A Summary of (2009). Briefing Note: Decisions, Rationale and Key Findings Summary. Available from:

Relevance for Public Health

This tool helps to identify and document evidence sources to inform decision making on an issue. The template succinctly summarizes what is known about an issue and what actions are recommended and feasible for the user's public health organization.


This template, Briefing Note: Decisions, Rationale and Key Findings Summary, was developed by Health Evidence. It outlines key pieces of information for writing a briefing note, a description of an issue that draws on research and practice-based evidence to provide options and recommendations to address the issue. This fillable form organizes relevant information to support evidence-informed decision making.

A briefing note informs decision-makers about an issue by succinctly describing the issue and background information and describing key considerations, options to address the issue and recommended actions. Similar to briefing notes, policy briefs aim to influence policy decisions.

Two organizations have developed guides to help with developing briefing notes and policy briefs:

The Translation Bureau (Government of Canada) also provides practical tips and strategies to write briefing notes.

This template, along with other checklists and flowcharts, are available at Health Evidence: Tools to support evidence-informed decision making.

Accessing the Method/Tool


Not specified


Not specified


Not Specified

Implementing the Method/Tool

Time for Participation/Completion

Information not available

Additional Resources and/or Skills Needed for Implementation

Using this briefing note template requires familiarity with different types of evidence and access to those evidence types (research, program, community, organizational, etc.).

Steps for Using Method/Tool

The template includes the following sections:

  • issue
  • background
  • current status
  • description of relevant evidence (research, organizational, colloquial, political, community, pragmatic evidence)
  • options
  • conclusion/recommended actions

Who is involved

Anyone who writes briefing notes to support decision making, such as health promotion officers or project specialists, among others, would find this tool useful.

Conditions for Use

Not specified

Evaluation and Measurement Characteristics


Information not available


Not applicable


Not applicable

Methodological Rating

Not applicable

Method/Tool Development


Health Evidence

Method of Development


Release Date


Contact Person/Source

Health Evidence
175 Longwood Road S, Suite 210A
Hamilton, ON L8P 0A1

These summaries are written by the NCCMT to condense and to provide an overview of the resources listed in the Registry of Methods and Tools and to give suggestions for their use in a public health context. For more information on individual methods and tools included in the review, please consult the authors/developers of the original resources.


Title of Primary Resource Briefing note: Decisions, Rationale and Key Findings Summary.
File Attachment None
Reference (2009). Briefing Note: Decisions, Rationale and Key Findings Summary. Available from:
Type of Material Template
Format On-line Access
Cost to Access None.
Language English
Conditions for Use Requirements for adapting this tool include: Health Evidence is acknowledged for tool development; adapted tool cannot be used for profit (not to be sold).
Title of Supplementary Resource The Research Matters KT Toolkit: A Resource for Researchers
File Attachment None
Reference Bennett, G., & Jessani, N. (Eds.). (2011). The Knowledge Translation Toolkit - Bridging the Know-Do Gap: A resource for researchers. Ottawa, ON: International Development Research Centre.
Type of Material Online handbook
Format On-line Access
Cost to Access
Language English, French
Conditions for Use Copyright © 2011 International Development Research Centre

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