Equity Update - Volume 8, Issue 1: March 31, 2014


March 31, 2014

Letter from the team

Dear Equity Colleagues,

We are excited to share our new newsletter format with you! You will notice that we are now using an e-newsletter format. Members of the Equity Methods Group mailing list will receive an email with a short description of each of the newsletter items and a link to more information on our website. The complete details of the newsletter will be available on our website, as they always have been. We welcome your feedback about this new format! Please send any comments or suggestions to jennifer.oneill@uottawa.ca.

We  are looking forward to Spring! We will be busy with the Canadian Cochrane Symposium, the Outcome Rheumatology Meeting, and the Campbell Colloquium!

As always, if you have a project or paper you would like to include in the next issue of the Equity Update, please contact us.


The Equity Methods Team



  1. Update from the Campbell Collaboration’s International Development Coordinating Group (IDCG)

  2. Update of Nepal Cochrane Collaboration Workshop

  3. Cochrane Public Health Group update

  4. Evidence Aid wins 2013 Unorthodox Prize! 

  5. Update from the Migrant Health Subgroup

  6. Equity Presentations at the 21st Cochrane Colloquium

  7. Upcoming Conferences

  8. Upcoming Equity Events

  9. Equity News Briefs

  10. New Publications

  11. Contact Information


campbell logo

Update from the Campbell Collaboration’s International Development Coordinating Group (IDCG)

Two IDCG Systematic Reviews published in the Campbell Library

The Impact of Land Property Rights Interventions on Investment and Agricultural Productivity in Developing Countries: a Systematic Review:
Does land titling help improve outcomes for smallholder farmers around the world? Who are the winners and losers from such reforms, and what are the gender impacts? Has evaluation research attempted to answer these contentious questions rigorously? This latest systematic review from Steven Lawry and colleagues synthesises both impact evaluations and qualitative evidence, which suggests that while there do appear to be positive benefits on agricultural productivity to those benefiting from reform, most studies, in particular impact evaluations, have not attempted to answer questions about winners and losers. The review provides recommendations about how to improve the evidence base to make more balanced assessment about the potential for such policies to improve rural people's lives. Read the full report in the Campbell Library here.

Post-Basic Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Interventions to Improve Employability and Employment of TVET Graduates in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review:
Janice Tripney and her team published their systematic review of TVET interventions in September last year. The authors identified 26 high quality impact evaluations, which showed a small, positive impact, particularly on formal employment rates and monthly earnings. It appears that young women who graduate from TVET programmes increase the number of hours they work in paid employment; there is no increase in working hours found among male graduates. However the methodological limitations and gaps in the current evidence base led the authors to conclude that more rigorous evaluations of TVET programs in low and middle income settings are needed. To read the full review, visit the review page in the Campbell Library.

In addition, four new IDCG systematic review protocols and five new systematic review titles are now published on the Campbell library and can be viewed here.

Campbell Colloquium 2014: Registration now open

Online registration for the 2014 Campbell Collaboration Colloquium is now open. The theme of this year’s colloquium is “Better Evidence for a Better World” and the IDCG will be hosting several panels and plenary sessions on systematic reviews in international development. Book on or before 28 March 2014 to benefit from early bird registration fees and avoid disappointment! Click here.

Contact Information:
Jennifer Stevenson: jstevenson@3ieimpact.org


Update of Nepal Cochrane Collaboration Workshop

The South Asian Cochrane Network and Centre (SACNC) India, the Effective Health Care Research Consortium, and the University of Ottawa (uOttawa) conducted a two-day workshop (February 12 to 13, 2014) on “Evidence-Informed Health Policy and Practice and Health Equity in Nepal” collaborating with Nepal Health Research Council (NHRC-Nepal) and Canada Foundation for Nepal with great success. Nepal's Health Secretary inaugurated the workshop and highlighted the importance of evidence informed health policy and practices for Nepal. High level health authorities, decision makers and health researchers from the Government, I/NGOS, academia and donors were present at the workshop. The covered areas were need-identification of priority themes, standard criteria to be met to establish a Cochrane Branch in Nepal, understanding systematic reviews and meta-analysis and the GRADE process to create a summary of findings tables and disseminating of evidence and knowledge translation (KT). Prof Prathap Tharyan from SACNC, Dr. Kevin Pottie and Dr. Govinda P. Dahal from uOttawa were the key resource persons. To continue collaboration with NHRC for capacity building in evidence informed policy-practice, KT and health equity, the collaborating partners mutually agreed to work together for next two years.

Nepal Meeting Participants
Nepal meeting participants

Contact information
Dr. Govinda Dahal: gdahal@uottawa.ca


Cochrane Public Health Group update

New titles (protocols under-development) registered with CPHG:

  • Unconditional cash transfers for humanitarian assistance: effect on use of health services and health outcomes in low and middle income countries (this will complement the existing protocol in-development, Unconditional cash transfers for reducing poverty and vulnerabilities: effect on use of health services and health outcomes in low and middle income countries)
  • Interventions for preventing malnutrition in children (0-5 years) living in slum environments
  • One published protocol (draft review stage) has been transferred from the EPOC Group to our group: Microfinance-based interventions for health outcomes in persons of low socio-economic status


Evidence Aid wins 2013 Unorthodox Prize! Evidence aid logo

Disasters affect millions of people and cost billions of dollars, but people affected and those trying to help them don’t always have good access to the best information on what they might do. Evidence Aid will change this. It has just been awarded the 2013 Unorthodox Prize, for an extraordinary and innovative approach to improving the lives of the world’s most disadvantaged people.

Evidence Aid was established by members of one of the world’s largest organisations in evidence based health care, The Cochrane Collaboration, and seed funded by the Collaboration and the scientific publisher Wiley. It now works with many humanitarian agencies across the world.

Evidence Aid makes it easier for people in the disaster and humanitarian sector to find reliable, independent information on interventions and strategies that might help, as well as identifying those that are ineffective or might even be harmful. Professor Mike Clarke, one of the founders of Evidence Aid who is based at Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland said, “People affected by disasters deserve the best care and those making decisions need the best evidence on what works, doesn’t work and is unproven. Evidence Aid will meet that need.”

Evidence Aid helps planners, policy makers, doctors, nurses, charity workers and others before, during and after natural disasters and other humanitarian emergencies. The Unorthodox Prize of $10,000 and potential for follow-on funding will support this work and help Evidence Aid reach its full potential.  Evidence Aid was selected from more than 250 entries from around the world.

Evidence Aid currently has just two staff, but is supported by a small group of volunteers and lots of good will around the world. It has bases in Oxford, the Centre for Global Health in Trinity College Dublin in Ireland and the Centre for Public Health at Queen’s University Belfast. Professor James McElnay, acting Vice Chancellor at Queen’s University Belfast said “We are delighted with this recognition for Evidence Aid. It is a core component in the University’s work to connect evidence, practice, practitioners and the public and we look forward to its continued growth and impact.”

Contact person: Claire Allen (callen@evidenceaid.org; telephone: +44(0)1865-310138)

Notes to editors: The Unorthodox Prize is sponsored by a San Francisco-based family foundation. For more information about the prize: www.unorthodoxprize.org/index.html. For more information about Evidence Aid: www.EvidenceAid.org. Follow Evidence Aid on Twitter (@EvidenceAid) or the Facebook Group (EvidenceAid).


Update from the Migrant Health Subgroup

New Migrant Equity Reporting Guidelines: CIHR Research at University of Ottawa

On February 6 and 7, 2014 the WHO Collaborating Centre for Knowledge Translation and Health Technology Assessment in Health Equity and the Bruyere Research Institute of the University of Ottawa hosted an International Meeting on Health Impact Assessment and the development of new Migrant Equity Reporting Guidelines. Guest speakers Alex Scott Samuel from UK and Fiona Haigh from Australia and Kwame McKenzie from Toronto provided HIA expertise.  Barb Rijks from the International Organization of Migration brought expertise on migrant equity.  Doug Manuel from ICES provided updates on new linked databases that may be useful to create migrant community profiles. Nila Sinnatamby of the Ontario MOHLTC provided sound decision maker input and encouragement for guidelines to support HEIA practitioners- policy analysts, public health officers, and NGO workers- as they complete assessment, evaluate data and make policy and program recommendations. 

4th Biannual Summer Institute on Refugee Health - June 1-6, 2014

Jessica Chen, Keith Miller, Kevin Pottie 

This summer the University of Ottawa and the WHO Collaborating Centre for Knowledge Translation and Health Technology Assessment in Health Equity will be hosting a 4th Summer Institute on Refugee Health from June 1st to June 6th 2014 in Ottawa. This intensive one-week program for medical student leaders from across Canada and internationally aims to provide valuable and relevant knowledge and skills for the leaders of tomorrow. This course is designed to increase participants’ understanding of health equity and global health competencies, as well as develop their leadership, health promotion, and advocacy skills. The focus will be on improving cultural humility, health communication and medical expertise surrounding refugee health. The curriculum will be complementary to the recently launched Refugees and Global Health e-Learning program, now available in both English and French (http://ccirhken.ca/eLearning/). Participants and workshop experts will spend the week working in an Ottawa refugee shelter and engage in experiential learning interviewing newly arriving refugee families to build their health profile and facilitate their integration in the healthcare system.

For more information please contact Jessica Chen at jessica.ting.chen@gmail.com or visit the Canadian Collaboration for Immigrant and Refugee Health (CCIRH) website at www.ccirhken.ca.


Equity Presentations at the 21st Cochrane Colloquium (Quebec City, Sept. 2013)

The Equity Methods Group was very busy during the Cochrane Colloquium in Quebec City. We presented:

  • a workshop “Introducing the new Cochrane handbook chapter on equity – methods for systematic reviews with a focus on equity”(31 conference delegates attended);
  • 4 oral presentations: “Integrating sex and gender analysis into systematic reviews”, “An equity focused approach for systematic reviews: using community dialogue to interpret the implications of findings for safety and security of immigrant children and youth”, “The importance of implementation evaluation: Case study of a review on preschool feeding programmes to improve the health of disadvantaged children”, “Assessing ethics and equity issues in systematic reviews and primary studies of nutrition interventions”;
  • and 2 poster presentations: “Meet the entities: the Campbell and Cochrane Equity Methods Group”and“Systematic reviews on nutrition interventions relevant to low- and middle-income countries”


Upcoming conferences

2014 Canadian Cochrane Symposium
Ottawa, Canada: April 24-25, 2014
The Symposium theme is ‘20/20 Vision: Cochrane in the Next Decade’

2014 Campbell Colloquium
Belfast, Ireland: June 16-19, 2014

2014 Cochrane Colloquium
Hyderabad, India: September 21-25, 2014
The theme of the Colloquium is ‘Evidence-Informed Public Health: Opportunities and Challenges’
colloquium banner 

Third Global Symposium on Health Systems Research
Capetown, South Africa: September 30-October 3, 2014
The theme of the Symposium is ‘The science and practice of people-centred health systems’

21st Canadian Conference on Global Health
Ottawa, Canada: November 2-4, 2014
The theme of the conference is ‘Partnerships in Global Health’


Upcoming equity events

Canadian Cochrane Symposium: April 24-25, 2014
Workshop: Guidance for conducting and reporting equity related systematic reviews
Workshop: Integrating Sex/Gender Analysis into Systematic Reviews

OMERACT 2014: May 7-10, 2014
Special Interest Group: Literacy and cultural equivalence


Equity News Briefs

  • Order of CanadaCONGRATULATIONS to our Co-Convenor, Dr. Peter Tugwell, who was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada on December 30, 2013! The Order of Canada recognizes a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. The Officer of the Order of Canada recognizes a lifetime of achievement and merit of a high degree, especially in service to Canada or to humanity at large.
  • CONGRATULATIONS to our Co-Convenor, Dr. Vivian Welch on becoming an Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa, for receiving an Early Researcher Award from the Ontario Government, and for receiving a 3 year operating grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to develop an equity extenion of the CONSORT reporting guideline! 
  • CONGRATULATIONS to Erin Ueffing, Training Coordinator for the Canadian Cochrane Centre and former Equity Methods Group coordinator on the birth of her daughter on February 18, 2014!

Follow us on Twitter! The Equity Methods Group is now tweeting: follow @CochraneEquitytwitter


New publications

O'Neill J, Tabish H, Welch V, Petticrew M, Pottie K, Clarke M, Evans T, Pardo Pardo J, Waters E, White H, Tugwell P. Applying an equity lens to interventions: using PROGRESS ensures consideration of socially stratifying factors to illuminate inequities in health. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology. 2014, 67 (1), pg. 56-64. doi:10.1016/j.jclinepi.2013.08.005

Petticrew M, Welch V, Tugwell P. ‘It is surely a great criticism of our profession…’ The next 20 years of equity-focused systematic reviews. JECH. November 27, 2013. doi: 10.1136/jech-2013-203400

O'Neill J, Rader T, Guillemin F, Boonen A, Christensen R, Lyddiatt A, Pardo Pardo J, Welch V, Singh JA, Tugwell P. Including health equity considerations in development of instruments for rheumatology research: An introduction to a novel OMERACT paradigm. Journal of Rheumatology. 2013. doi:10.3899/jrheum.130812

Burford BJ, Welch V, Waters E, Tugwell P, Moher D, O'Neill J, Koehlmoos T, Petticrew M. Testing the PRISMA-Equity 2012 reporting guideline: The perspectives of systematic review authors. PLoS ONE. 2013;8(10):e75122. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0075122.

For a complete list of publications, visit: https://equity.cochrane.org/our-publications


Equity Support Services

Are you doing a review that considers equity?  Does your review include disadvantaged populations?  The Equity Methods Group is keen to help!  We are happy to provide peer review, suggest Review Advisory Group members, give methodological support, and provide other assistance upon request.  Please contact Jennifer O’Neill (jennifer.oneill@uottawa.ca) to discuss your needs. 


The Campbell and Cochrane Equity Methods Group

Elizabeth Kristjansson, Advisory Member

Jennifer O’Neill, Coordinator

Mark Petticrew, Co-Convener

Kevin Pottie, Advisory Member

Peter Tugwell, Co-Convener
c/o Kerry O’Brien, kerry.obrien@uottawa.ca

Elizabeth Waters, Advisory Member

Vivian Welch, Co-Convener


Contact Information

Campbell and Cochrane Equity Methods Group
Bruyère Research Institute
University of Ottawa
85 Primrose Avenue, Room 302
Ottawa, Ontario K1R 7G5

Tel: 1-613-562-5800, ext. 1963
Fax: 1-613-562-5659
Email: jennifer.oneill@uottawa.ca
Twitter: @CochraneEquity

Please contact us if you would like information about our activities, to join our listserv, or to become involved in our projects.  We welcome your participation!

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