Courses & seminarsSeminars & eventsWhat Works Global SummitWhat Works sessions involving EPPI-Centre
What Works Global Summit other sessions involving the EPPI-Centre

The EPPI-Centre, at the UCL Institute of Education, is proud to be a sponsor of the What Works Global Summit 2016.



The IOE is involved with a number of events in the main programme of the summit. Please note that registration is essential for the following events. More information about the What Works Global Summit can be found on the event website.

Pre conference Workshop 14: The future of research synthesis

Alis Oancea and Elizabeth Nye, University of Oxford, James Thomas, EPPI-Centre, UCL, G.J. Melendez-Torres, University of Warwick, and Steve Higgins, Durham University

Details: Black Suite, BMA – Saturday 24 September, 1.30-3pm

This workshop addresses conceptual, methodological and practical challenges to research syntheses. Grounded in examples from the field of education, the discussants survey ongoing developments in various types of research syntheses and suggest possible directions for the future.

Systematic reviews are still controversial in some quarters, with well-rehearsed arguments for and against their use. To advance a more nuanced approach, this contribution illustrates the wide range of theoretical perspectives, methodologies and purposes that underpin the vast range of approaches now available, contending that arguments against systematic reviews are often poorly targeted.

There are many key philosophical and methodological issues on qualitative meta-synthesis. Despite these challenges, this contribution highlights the potential future discovery of novel insights for theory development, everyday practice and research agendas when qualitative meta-syntheses are conducted, individually or alongside quantitative systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Nowadays more suited to theory generation, meta-analysis places a greater focus on the relevance of reviews and their findings to intended audiences. A stunning array of methods now allows us to test a broader range of questions, including assessing multiple outcomes and comparing multiple interventions. Innovative approaches combined with other analysis techniques (e.g., mixed methods synthesis, QCA) add to a toolkit enabling increasingly fit-for-purpose syntheses.

Pre conference Workshop 25: Systematic reviews to meet policy interests – getting started

Sandy Oliver, Mukdarut Bangpan and Kelly Dickson, EPPI-Centre, UCL

Details: Boardroom, Woburn House – Sunday 25 September, 1.30-5pm

When questions for systematic reviews are posed by policy makers, they raise two challenges in getting started: (1) scoping evidence gaps important to policy makers and shaping manageable review questions to fill them; and (2) balancing the evidence needs of the specific policy makers with an evidence product that will attract wider policy and academic interest. This workshop will offer suggestions for each of these challenges based on our experience of working closely with policy makers and with systematic reviewers around the world. Part 1 will address how to focus discussions on policy priorities, existing evidence and gaps simultaneously, through ultra-rapid scoping and knowledge exchange. We shall draw on the parallels with qualitative analysis and non-directive counselling to offer clear steps for recognising relevant evidence and gaps, or supporting policy makers undertaking this task. Part 2 will address how to integrate contextual analysis into the conceptual framework of a systematic review so that authors and readers can draw out the implications of the evidence for different geo-political, cultural, system or community contexts. Practical exercises will help workshop participants apply these approaches to their own areas of interest.

Evening session: Evidence synthesis workshop: Are systematic reviews fit for purpose?

Ruth Garside, Senior Lecturer in Evidence Synthesis, European Centre for Environment and Human Health, University of Exeter
Sandy Oliver, Professor of Public Policy, EPPI-Centre, UCL
Birte Snilstveit, Evaluation Specialist, International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie)

Details: LSHTM - Monday 26 September, 5.30-7pm

The aim of this session is to have a panel discussion on the theme of moving beyond the traditional systematic review more: new approaches to evidence synthesis. The session will stimulate discussion on the methodological and other challenges around the production and use of systematic reviews of very complex interventions. Panelists will discuss the challenges and solutions, as one moves away from doing more straightforward 'health'-related systematic reviews. The session will include 3 short presentations from speakers, followed by comments from a rapporteur. This will be followed by an open discussion between panelists and the audience.

1.1 Navigating the policy-research interface with systematic reviews

Details: The Light, Friends House - Monday 26 September, 11am-12.30pm

Chair: Ian Goldman, DPME, South Africa

Nathaniel Bevan, Department for International Development
Jen Stuttle, Department for International Development
Anirban Ganguly, DFID South Asian Research Hub
Sandy Oliver, EPPI-Centre, UCL
Mukdarut Bangpan, EPPI-Centre, UCL

2.11 Reflections on the future of research synthesis (Campbell Collaboration Annual Awards)

Details: Snow Room, BMA House - Monday 26 September, 1.30pm-3pm

Chair: Jeremy Grimshaw, President, Campbell Collaboration Marc Winokur, Colorado State University, USA

Hannah Rosenstein, Baruch College—CUNY, USA
Sandy Oliver, EPPI-Centre, UCL

2.15 Use of mixed methods for enhancing the policy relevance of systematic reviews: Experiences from international development

Details: LIDC, Upper Meeting Room - Monday 26 September, 1.30pm-3pm

Chair: Edoardo Masset, 3ie, UK Thomas de Hoop, Senior Researcher International Research and Evaluation (American Institutes for Research), USA

Laurenz Langer, Research Synthesis Specialist (University of Johannesburg), South Africa and EPPI-Centre, UCL
Birte Snilstveit, Evaluation Specialist (3ie and International Development Coordinating Group, Campbell Collaboration), UK

4.14 Using evidence for better practice in nursing

Details: BO6, Birkbeck College (43 Gordon Square) - Tuesday 27 September, 9am-10.30am

Chair: Gro Jamvedt, HiOA, Norway

4.14.1 Preethy D'Souza, Manipal University, India: Building future generation of Evidence based practicing nurses -What worked in India? now at the EPPI-Centre
4.14.2 Lorelli Nowell, MN, RN Doctoral candidate Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada: Mixed methods systematic review exploring mentorship outcomes in nursing academia
4.14.3 Jill M Norris, Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary, Canada: “We use that term all the time, eh?” Engagement as defined by stakeholders within strategic clinical networks in Alberta, Canada: a qualitative study


5.1  Co-production and institutional mechanisms to increase the use of evidence synthesis in decision-making

Details: Small Hall, Friends House - Tuesday 27th September, 11am-12.30pm

Chair: Ruth Stewart, Associate Professor, University of Johannesburg, Director UJ-BCURE, South Africa and member of the EPPI-Centre, UCL

Harsha Dayal: Department of Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation: Director Research Management, South Africa
Laurenz Langer: University of Johannesburg programme to Build Capacity to Use Research Evidence (UJ-BCURE): Research synthesis specialist, South Africa, and EPPI-Centre, UCL

5.9 Reviews and better practice for better lives for people with disabilities

Details: Harvey Room, BMA House - Tuesday 27 September - 11am-12.30pm

Chair: Rafik Hamaizia, SCIE, UK

5.9.1 Translating research to practice from Campbell systematic reviews on interventions for individuals with disabilities: case examples of knowledge translation
Dr Carlton J. Fong, American Institutes for Research/The University of Texas at Austin, USA
Dr Xinsheng “Cindy” Cai, American Institutes for Research, USA
Respondent: Ginny Brunton, EPPI-Centre, UCL

5.9.2 Undertaking a mixed-methods systematic review: navigating a complex intervention with broad inclusion criteria and internationally diverse terminology
Padraic Fleming, Mental Health and Social Research Unit, Maynooth University Department of Psychology & SPHeRE - Structured Population Health-services Research Education, Ireland

5.2 Synthesis in the humanitarian sector: processes, findings, challenges and opportunities

Details: George Fox, Friends House - Tuesday 27 September, 11am-12.30pm

Chair: Edoardo Masset, 3ie, UK Katharine Williamson, Save the Children UK

Dr Mukdarut Bangpan, Research Officer at EPPI-Centre, UCL
Dr Robert Akparibo - University of Sheffield, UK
Victoria Maynard - UCL/Habitat for Humanity GB, UK, or Travis Yates, Tufts University, USA
Lisa Walmsley, Oxfam GB, UK

6.10 Developing evidence based guidelines in policing and social care –more of an art or a science?

Details: Council Chamber, BMA House - Tuesday 27 September, 1.30pm-3pm

Chair: Gunn Vist, FHI, Norway Julia Morris, College of Policing, UK

Carol Vigurs, EPPI-Centre, UCL
Hannah Roscoe NICE Collaborating Centre for Social Care (Social Care Institute for Excellence), UK

6.12 What Works to increase demand for evidence: carrots versus sticks

Details: BO4, Birkbeck College (43 Gordon Square), Tuesday 27 September, 1.30pm-3pm

Chair: Dr Alex Ademokun, Department for International Development: Research Specialist Evidence and Learning, UK

Dr Chandrika Nath, UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, UK
Anirban Ganguly, Department for International Development South Asia Research Hub, India
Jill Rutter, Institute for Government, UK
Prof Ruth Stewart, University of Johannesburg, South Africa and EPPI-Centre
Dr Caroline Kenny, University College London, UK  (formerly EPPI-Centre)

9.14 Challenging impact: the status of national evaluation policies worldwide

Details: Birkbeck B06 - Wednesday 28 September, 10.45am-12pm

Chair: Mukdarut Bangpan, Research Officer at EPPI-Centre, UCL

9.14.1 Kathryn Oliver, University of Oxford: Eyes wide open: the challenges of changing the replication culture
9.14.2 Annette N, Brown, FHI 360, USA, Benjamin D Wood, 3ie, USA

9.2  Challenges in research to evidence in sub-Saharan Africa

Details: Small Hall, Friends House - Wednesday 28 September,10.45am-12pm

Chair: Albert Byagumisha, Office of the Prime Minister, Uganda

9.2.1 What works to build capacity to use research evidence in South Africa and Malawi: a cross-government perspective
Dr Yvonne Erasmus, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Ruth Stewart, University of Johannesburg, South Africa and EPPI-Centre, UCL

9.22 Why are poor countries’ efforts to overcome barriers to research use bearing little results? The case of Kenya and Malawi
Rose Oronje, African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP), Kenya
9.2.3 The effects of UNESCO’s Better Education for Africa’s Rise (BEAR) project on the development of national TVET systems in South-Saharan African countries
Miriam Preckler, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain

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