**This event is taking place at the Health Systems Global Symposium in Cape Town, South Africa**
Alex Ezeh, African Population Health and Research Center, Kenya
Amanda Glassman, Center for Global Development, USA
Ramiro Guerrero Carvajal, PROESA - Research Center for Social Protection and Health Economics, Colombia
Felicia Knaul, FUNSALUD, Mexico
Sharmila Mhatre, International Development Research Centre, Canada\
Alan Whiteside , CIGI Chair in Global Health Policy, Balsillie School of International Affairs and Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada and Professor Emeritus, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Independent policy research organizations – or think tanks – play a potentially important role in translating evidence to action, lending both technical expertise and an objective evidence base to help strengthen policy behind people-centered health systems in the developing world. This panel will highlight successful and less successful efforts by think tanks around the world to bridge the gap between health systems research and policy impact, with emphasis on tried and tested strategies as well as “bloopers” that unite researchers, activists, practitioners and policy-makers and can be utilized in a variety of settings. Panelists will describe a specific experience and debate the issues related to driving a research agenda from concept to conclusion to policy impact, highlighting what worked – and what didn’t – along the way.