An economic evaluation should be communicated clearly and transparently to enable the decision-maker(s) to interpret the methods and results.
Why transparency is important for decision-making
The aim of an economic evaluation is to inform resource allocation decisions. If the conduct and results of the economic evaluation are not reported clearly and transparently, then the soundest evidence available will not be informative. Clear and transparent economic evaluations can also improve the transparency of the decision-making process, and consequently improve the accountability of decision-makers to stakeholders in the decision.
Clear and transparent reporting also improves transferability of economic evaluations, as research undertaken in particular contexts may be used to support decision-making in others. Even where the overall results of the economic evaluation may not be generalisable, aspects of the analysis may still inform analysis in other contexts.
A fundamental element of good scientific practice is that results are reproducible. Clear and transparent reporting enhances the capacity of other researchers to reproduce the results.
Part 3 details the Minimum Reporting Standards, which outline those aspects of an economic evaluation that must be reported to ensure minimal compliance with the transparency principle. Minimum Reporting Standards do not impose any additional methodological burden on researchers as they draw on information and data that must be compiled in the course of the economic evaluation.