The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented human, social, and economic impacts worldwide. It has prompted decision-makers to demand evidence-based solutions to reduce the risk of transmission and the associated morbidity and mortality. The process of developing trustworthy recommendations has often been plagued with inefficiencies, redundancies, a lack of collaboration, and sharing. The pandemic’s sudden emergence and scale have led to substantial pressure and heightened expectations for accelerated systematic reviews and rapid guidelines. Researchers and guideline developers have been tasked with resolving the uncertainty in much shorter time frames. As a result, such development processes have become remote, less diverse, and prone to inaccuracy.
The pandemic has led to the vigorous updating of systematic reviews and guideline recommendations. Organizations have set up networks, task forces, and working groups worldwide to coordinate efforts and overcome some of these challenges. The recent developments in collaboration and increased focus on and commitment to sharing and coordination must be maintained after the pandemic. The efforts should include representatives from across the globe, especially low and middle-income countries, which have ongoing risks for new pandemics and vast experience dealing with past pandemics. The solutions initiated must be sustained and usable in diverse settings, creating readiness for subsequent pandemics while also improving the evidence ecosystem’s inefficiencies into the future.