||Developing economies and other low-resource settings
The EPPI Centre has over 15 years’ experience working with researchers, practitioners and policymakers to use global and local evidence. Our programmes of work have included conducting policy-relevant systematic reviews, supporting review teams and capacity-building to generate and use evidence with local knowledge to inform policy and practice decisions relevant to low resource settings.
We develop ways of understanding and working with key stakeholders. We explore mechanisms to support the institutionalisation of evidence production of policy-relevant evidence synthesis, and to advance knowledge translation and evidence use. We work across topic domains, policy sectors and countries, spanning from agriculture, education, environmental science, health, international development to microeconomics, and methodological development.
Our work in developing economies and other low resource settings began in 2007, when the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, now hosted by the World Health Organisation (WHO), awarded grants to institutions in low- and middle-income countries to establish centres for systematic reviews of health policy and systems research. The EPPI Centre’s trained and supported centres in Bangladesh, Chile, China, Lebanon, South Africa and Uganda.
Our efforts to support systematic reviews broadened with the decision of the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) (formerly the UK Department for International Development) to strengthen the international development community’s capacity for evidence-informed decision making through the production and dissemination of systematic reviews (http://www.dfid.gov.uk/r4d/systematicreviewfeature.asp). We provided training to policy makers and researchers in London, in South Asia and online. We also supported review teams funded by the Australian government’s aid programme and 3ie (the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation, http://www.3ieimpact.org/en/).
Our current and recent research, collaborations and outputs are listed below. Systematic reviews published by EPPI Centre are listed under the categories of International Development Group (published 2019 and earlier) and the Health Systems Review Group (published 2011).
Current and recently completed projects
- Evidence-informed Policy Making (EIDM)
- Southeast Asia Evidence Policy Partnership (SEAEPP)
- Evidence synthesis in humanitarian emergencies and conflict settings
- Neonatal Wellbeing Network (Mexico) Centre of Excellence for Development Impact and Learning
- Partnership for Evidence and Equity in Responsive Social Systems
1. Evidence-informed Policy Making (EIDM)
We work with the Evidence-informed Policy Network (EVIPNet), a global initiative to translate knowledge for better health policy-making to deliver workshop. At the EVIPNet Europe multicounty meeting in Istanbul in 2019 we shared the EPPI Centre’s success story as a knowledge-broker between evidence generation and evidence use. We were part of the WHO Evidence to Policy Summits in 2021 and 2023 and confirmed our commitment to support and work with global partners to strengthen and institutionalise EIDM.
Currently, the EPPI Centre is working with WHO to pilot the WHO institutionalisation checklist in selected case study countries The project is titled: Supporting the routine use of evidence during the health policy-making process: a pilot project of World Health Organisation Checklist.
This project will pilot the application of a new WHO guidance, an EIPM institutionalisation checklist – a practical tool to assist countries in diagnosing, navigating, and planning their institutionalisation process – in two case study countries with diverse geographical locations and EIPM institutionalisation stages. We aim to communicate the findings to the EVIPNet community. In terms of longer impact, and lessons learned from this pilot study will be used to refine the checklist and inform the scale-up of the checklist application in other countries, especially EVIPNet member countries where the demand and political momentum for EIPM institutionalisation are high. The team will work closely with the funder to disseminate and share the project outcomes and takeaways to spark interest and discussion in the overall topic of EIPM institutionalisation.
The project is funded by the Geneva Science-Policy Interface under the Impact Collaboration Programme.
Contact: Mukdarut Bangpan (email@example.com); staff: Sandy Oliver, Kelly Dickson.
2. Southeast Asia Evidence Policy Partnership (SEAEPP)
The network was formally set up in 2022 during the pandemic as a learning platform to build partnerships between academics and policymakers in Southeast East Asia for evidence generation and evidence use in health and social sciences. The project is funded by the seed funding from IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society and UCL Global Engagement Funds, and Chulalongkorn University.
The set-up of the Southeast Asia Evidence Policy Partnership is driven by the need to bridge the gap between interdisciplinary research evidence and policymaking in the region. In today’s complex and rapidly evolving world, evidence-informed policy is essential to timely and effectively address societal challenge. Policymakers often face numerous decisions to address complex problems that have far-reaching consequences. It is also important to have interdisciplinary approaches for sharing and learning across policy sectors. In Southeast Asia, there is several national and subnational institutions that generate evidence to inform decisions in health systems and health policy making yet less established partnership within evidence ecosystems in other policy sectors such as education, economic and development. It is envisaged that by establishing the SEAEPP, evidence users in the region will gain access to credible, up-to-date, relevant interdisciplinary research evidence. This empowers them to make informed decisions based on rigorous analysis and evaluation of available data. It enhances the quality and effectiveness of policies, leading to better outcomes for society as a whole.
In addition, there is a notable gap between research findings and the in-depth understanding of how to contexualise and integrate evidence into policy development. By creating the cross-disciplinary SEAEPP network, this gap can be significantly reduced. The network serves as a bridge, fostering collaboration and dialogue between researchers and policymakers in the region. It promotes the translation of research findings into actionable policy recommendations, ensuring that policies are grounded in robust evidence.
Finally, SEAEPP aims to be a platform to foster collaborative partnerships among researchers, policymakers, and practitioners in the region. It creates a space for dialogue, knowledge sharing, and joint problem-solving. By bringing together diverse perspectives and expertise, the network encourages interdisciplinary approaches to address complex policy challenges. It promotes innovation, learning, and the co-creation of evidence-informed policies that are more likely to be accepted and implemented.
Current steering committee and network members:
- Associate Professor Mukdarut Bangpan, a co-founder and director, UCL Social Research Institute
- Professor Nathorn Chaiyakunapruk, University of Utah, USA
- Associate Professor Dhirapat Kulophas, Faculty of Education, Chulalongkorn University
- Dr Panya Panya Akkaraputtapong, Faculty of Education, Chulalongkorn University
- Associate Professor Pannee Cheewinsiriwat, Assistant to the President (Research), Chulalongkorn University, Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University
- Assistant Professor Nitinant Wisaweisuan, Dean of Puey Ungphakorn School of Development Studies and a Faculty member of Faculty of Economics, Thammasat University
- Associate Professor Songphan Choemprayong, Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University
- Associate Professor Kelly Dickson, UCL Social Research Institute
- Dr Dylan Kneale, UCL Social Research Institute
- Pyne K, Sh, Y, Saidoung P, Akkaraputtapong P, Kulophas D, Chaiyakunapruk N, Bangpan M (2023) School-based educational Interventions to address learning loss for disadvantaged students in primary and secondary education. Southeast Asia Evidence for Policy and Practice (SEAEPP), University College London, UK
- Intarates M, Dhippayom T, Upakdee N, Leesmidt V, Weraphong J, Bangpan M (2023) How Area Health Management Leads to Improved Equity in Health: A Scoping Review. Journal of Health Research, 37 (2), 97-115.doi:10.56808/2586-940X.1010
- Blog: How do we make sure the most disadvantaged children get a good education during public health emergencies?UCL IOE Blog, 7 Feb 2022.
- Shi Y, Pyne K, Kulophas D, Bangpan, M (2022) Exploring equity in educational policies and interventions in primary and secondary education in the context of public health emergencies: A systematic literature review. International Journal of Educational Research, 111, 101911.
- Sadoyu S, Tanni KA, Punrum N, Paengtrai S, Kategaew W, Promchit N, . . . Chaiyakunapruk N (2022) Methodological approaches for assessing certainty of the evidence in umbrella reviews: A scoping review. PLOS ONE, 17 (6), e0269009. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0269009
- Chhibber A, Kharat A, Kneale D, Welch V, Bangpan M, Chaiyakunapruk N (2021) Assessment of health equity consideration in masking/PPE policies to contain COVID-19 using PROGRESS-plus framework: a systematic review. BMC Public Health, 21 (1), 1682. doi:10.1186/s12889-021-11688-7
- Yadee J, Bangpan M, Thavorn K, Welch V, Tugwell P, Chaiyakunapruk N (2019) Assessing evidence of interventions addressing inequity among migrant populations: a two-stage systematic review. International Journal for Equity In Health, 18, ARTN 64. doi:10.1186/s12939-019-0970-x
- Barua P, Bangpan M, Narattharaksa K, et al. (2019) Healthcare policies for Stateless Populations in ASEAN Countries. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health https://doi.org/10.1007/s10903-019-00945-y
- Teoh SL, Ngorsuraches S, Lai NM, Bangpan M, Chaiyakunapruk, N (2019) Factors affecting consumers’ decisions on the use of nutraceuticals: a systematic review. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition. doi:10.1080/09637486.2018.1538326
- Yadee J, Bangpan M, Thavorn K, Welch V, Tugwell P (2019) Assessing evidence of interventions addressing inequity among migrant populations: a two-stage systematic review. International Journal for Equity in Health, 18: 64.
Contact: Mukdarut Bangpan (firstname.lastname@example.org); staff: Kelly Dickson, Dylan Kneale.
3. Evidence synthesis in humanitarian emergencies and conflict settings
Our work on this area focuses on conducting evidence synthesis to inform policy and practice decisions in the emergencies on mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS), Art Heritage, Resilience and humanitarianism in South Sudan, and violence against women and girls in South Sudan.
- Bangpan M, Felix L, Dickson K (2019) Mental health and psychosocial support programmes for adults in humanitarian emergencies: a systematic review and meta-analysis in low and middle-income countries BMJ Global Health;4:e001484.
- Dickson K, Bangpan M (2018) What are the barriers to, and facilitators of, implementing and receiving MHPSS programmes delivered to populations affected by humanitarian emergencies? A qualitative evidence synthesis, Global Mental Health, 5: e21.
- Bangpan M, Dickson K, Felix L, Chiumento A (2017) The impact of mental health and psychosocial support interventions on people affected by humanitarian emergencies: A systematic review. Humanitarian Evidence Programme. Oxford: Oxfam GB.
- Kneale D, Bangpan M, Thomas J, Waddington HS (2020) Using logic models in research and evaluation of Health EDRM interventions. In: Kayano R, Murray V, Clarke M. Chan EYY, WHO Guidance on Research Methods for Health and Disaster Risk Management, Geneva: WHO.
- Podcast by Sandy Oliver and Mukdarut Bangpan: Combining Research Studies for Action Against Violence , genderfocus.org, 22 Nov 2021.
Contact: Kelly Dickson (email@example.com); Dylan Kneale (firstname.lastname@example.org ); Sandy Oliver (email@example.com ); Mukdarut Bangpan (firstname.lastname@example.org).
4. Neonatal Wellbeing Network (Mexico)
The Neonatal Wellbeing Network was established in Puebla, Mexico in June 2023 supported by the UCL Global Engagement Funds programme. Curently, it is undertaking a research priority setting exercise with stakeholders, which will feed into a strategic plan 2023-2028. The network is:
- A multidisciplinary network aimed at promoting the well-being of premature and/or sick newborns and their families in neonatal intensive care units (NICU) in Mexico through the co-production of knowledge.
- A group of academics, healthcare professionals, parents, caregivers and citizens share knowledge, experiences and reflections. Working on equal terms to identify, design, implement and evaluate best practices to promote newborn care which is delivered with skill, compassion, and respect for children’s rights, to support early child development in public health institutions in Mexico.
- Seeking to influence neonatal intensive care practices and public policies that lead to optimising early child development of critically ill newborns in Mexico.
The network’s mission is to promote best practices through the co-production of knowledge, delivered with skill, compassion and respect for children’s rights, that promote early childhood development in neonatal intensive care units of public health institutions in Mexico.
- Dr Rosa Mendizabal, Social Research Institute, University College London
- Dr Kelly Dickson, Social Research Institute, University College London
- Dr Mukarut Bangpan, Social Research Institute, University College London
- Dr Viviana Ramirez, Universidad de las Américas Puebla
- Dr Miriam Quintanar, Asociación Mexicana Neonatal de Enfermeras, México
- Lourdes Roth, consultora independiente
- Myriam de Luna, Universidad Iberoamericana México
- Dr Sonia Hernández, Instituto de Investigaciones para el Desarrollo con Equidad (EQUIDE), Universidad Iberoamericana México
- Vania Lara, Instituto de Investigaciones para el Desarrollo con Equidad (EQUIDE), Universidad Iberoamericana México
- Bianca Franco, Instituto de Investigaciones para el Desarrollo con Equidad (EQUIDE), Universidad Iberoamericana México
- Dr Mariana Colmenares, Asociación de Consultores Certificados en Lactancia Materna ACCLAM A.C.
- Karla Albarrán, Nacer Temprano, Vivir en Grande México A.C.
Past research projects
Centre of Excellence for Development Impact and Learning (CEDIL)
The CEDIL programme aimed to develop and tests innovative approaches to impact evaluation and evidence synthesis in low-income countries. Our EPPI Centre staff took active roles in conducting evidence syntheses, leading the discussions on research approaches to address the complex needs in low- income settings.
Contact: Sandy Oliver (email@example.com); staff: David Gough, Dylan Kneale, Mukdarut Bangpan, Kelly Dickson, Claire Stansfield, Jan Tripney, Kirrily Pells, James Thomas.
- Bangpan M, Draper A, Minchenko D, Stansfield C, Dickson K, Tripney J, Oliver S (2023) CEDIL methods working paper: Making and justifying evidence claims: evidence synthesis of impact evaluations and systematic reviews in international development. CEDIL Syntheses Working Paper 10, Oxford: Centre of Excellence for Development Impact and Learning. Available at https://doi.org/10.51744/CSWP10
- Bangpan M, Draper A, Minchenko D, Stansfield C, Dickson K, Tripney J, Oliver S (2023) Making and justifying evidence claims in international development. CEDIL Evidence Brief 10. London and Oxford: Centre of Excellence for Development Impact and Learning. https://doi.org/10.51744/CEB10
- Oliver S, Mincheko D, Bangpan M, Dickson K, Stansfield C, Tripney J (2023) Evidence claims for informing decisions relating to socio-economic development. CEDIL Lessons Learned Paper 2, Oxford: Centre of Excellence for Development Impact and Learning. Available at https://doi.org/10.51744/LLP2
- Burchett HED, Griffin S, de Melo M, Picardo JJ, Kneale D, French RS (2022) Upstream interventions aiming to encourage adolescents’ use of contraception in low- and middle-income countries: A rationale and protocol for a mixed- methods synthesis to develop a mid-range theory. CEDIL Design Paper 1. London and Oxford: Centre of Excellence for Development Impact and Learning (CEDIL).
- Burchett HED, Kneale D, Griffin S, Picardo JJ, de Melo M, French RS (2022) Structural interventions aiming to enable adolescent use of contraception in low- and middle-income countries. CEDIL Syntheses Working Paper 5, Oxford: Centre of Excellence for Development Impact and Learning. Available at https://doi.org/10.51744/CSWP5
- Burchett HED, Griffin S, de Melo M, Picardo JJ, Kneale D, French, RS (2022) Structural interventions to enable adolescent contraceptive use in low and middle income countries: What has been evaluated and how should future interventions be developed? CEDIL Evidence Brief 3. London and Oxford: Centre of Excellence for Development Impact and Learning. https://doi.org/10.51744/CEB3
- Burchett HED, Kneale D, Griffin S, de Melo M, Picardo JJ, French RS (2022) Which Structural Interventions for Adolescent Contraceptive Use Have Been Evaluated in Low- and Middle-Income Countries? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(18):11715. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191811715
- Burchett HED, Griffin S, de Melo M, Picardo JJ, Kneale D, French RS (2022) Structural Interventions to Enable Adolescent Contraceptive Use in LMICs: A Mid-Range Theory to Support Intervention Development and Evaluation. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(21):14414. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192114414
- Oliver S, Langer L, Nduku P, Umayam H, Conroy K, Maugham C, Bradley T, Bangpan M, Kneale D, Roche, C (2021) Engaging Stakeholders with Evidence and Uncertainty: Developing a toolkit. CEDIL Methods Working Paper 4. London and Oxford: Centre of Excellence for Development Impact and Learning. Available at: https://doi.org/10.51744/CMWP4
- Oliver S, Conroy K, Umayam H, Maugham C, Roche C, Langer L, Nduku P, Bradley T, Bangpan M, Kneale, D(2021) Engaging stakeholders to co-design rigorous and relevant research and evaluation. CEDIL Methods Brief 5. Oxford and London: Centre of Excellence for Development Impact and Learning. https://doi.org/10.51744/CMB5
- Langer L, Nduku P, Umayam H, Conroy K, Maugham C, Bradley T, Bangpan M, Kneale D, Roche C, Oliver S(2020) Engaging stakeholders with evidence and uncertainty: a toolkit. London: EPPI Centre, UCL Social Research Institute, UCL Institute of Education, University College London. https://eppi.ioe.ac.uk/EvidenceAndUncertaintyToolkit/Engaging_stakeholders_with_evidence_and_uncertainty.html
- Oliver S, Roche C, Stewart R, Bangpan M, Dickson K, Pells K, Cartwright N, Hargreaves J, Gough D (2018) Stakeholder Engagement for Development Impact Evaluation and Evidence Synthesis. CEDIL Inception Paper 3: London: Centre of Excellence for Development Impact and Learning.
- Kneale D, Thomas J, Bangpan M, Waddington H, Gough D (2018) Causal Chain Analysis in Systematic Reviews of International Development Interventions. CEDIL Inception Paper 4: London: Centre of Excellence for Development Impact and Learning.
- Oliver S, Gough D, Copestake J (2017) Approaches to Evidence Synthesis in International Development. CEDIL Pre-Inception Paper: London: Centre of Excellence for Development Impact and Learning.
5. Partnership for Evidence and Equity in Responsive Social Systems (PEERSS)
PEERSS is a global partnership working to advance the use of evidence for progress in social systems. The partnership aims to strengthen mechanisms and build conducive environments for advancing evidence-informed policymaking (EIP). The EPPI Centre worked with other partners from 13 countries to strengthen capacities in EIP. Working together with other teams, we developed learning strategy that consider immediate, medium-, and long-term learning interests and explored different ways of working to embed evidence use in their policy contexts.
Contact: Sandy Oliver (firstname.lastname@example.org); staff: Claire Stansfield, Preethy D’Sourza, Mukdarut Bangpan, Kelly Dickson, Rosa Mendixabal-Espinosa, Veronica Osorio Calderon.
- Guiding PEERSS partners in identifying evidence addressing social policy in the areas of crime and justice, humanitarian aid, and agriculture and engineering for improving children’s nutrition.
- Mentoring PEERSS partners in strengthening systems to support evidence-informed decision-making.
- Supporting PEERSS partners in developing a toolkit that addresses stakeholder engagement with research and decision-making.
- Developing methods for tracking and characterizing the use of systematic reviews by government and NGOs.
- Systematically reviewing different methods for engaging stakeholders with evidence, and translating this work into practical tools.
- Partnering with the COVID-19 Evidence Network to support evidence-informed decision-making related to COVID-19.
- Stansfield C, Brunton J (2023) Crowdsourced information resources relating to low-resource settings. London: EPPI Centre, UCL Social Research Institute, University College London. https://eppi.ioe.ac.uk/cms/Default.aspx?tabid=3903