Equity Update - Volume 8, Issue 2: September 15, 2014


September 15, 2014

Letter from the team

Dear Equity Colleagues,

We are preparing for a busy fall including the 22nd Cochrane Colloquium in Hyderabad, India, the 3rd Global Symposium on Health Systems Research in Cape Town, South Africa, and the 21st Canadian Conference on Global Health, in Ottawa, Canada.

Many exciting new equity initiatives are underway, including the development of GRADE-equity (which will be discussed at an open meeting in Hyderabad), an equity extension of the CONSORT Statement (information is available on our website), a chapter on equity and special populations in the next major update of the Cochrane Handbook, and the explanation and elaboration paper that will provide additional guidance for users of the PRISMA-equity reporting guideline. We will provide updates on these projects in the next issue of the Equity Update.

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 from the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie)

  3. The Institute of Gender and Health (IGH)
  4. Evidence Aid Training Opportunity

  5. Sex and Gender Working Group - New name! Sex/Gender Methods Group

  6. Equity Presentations

  7. Upcoming Conferences

  8. Upcoming Equity Events

  9. Equity News Briefs

  10. New Publications

  11. Contact Information


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

IDCG Review on farmer fields schools published in the Campbell Library

The latest IDCG review published in the Campbell Library is a systematic review of evidence on farmer field schools (FFS), a common approach used to transfer specialist knowledge, promote skills and empower farmers. Hugh Waddington, Birte Snilstveit, Martina Vojtkova and colleagues assess FFS implementation in low- and middle-income countries to investigate whether they make a difference, to which farmers, and why or why not. The authors synthesised quantitative evidence on intervention effects using statistical meta-analysis, and qualitative evidence on the barriers and enablers of effectiveness using a theory of change framework. The results provide evidence that FFS make a difference to beneficiaries' lives in pilot programmes, but are not effective when taken to scale. To read the full review, please visit the review page in the Campbell Library

To accompany this report, Hugh and Howard White have produced a policy-friendly 3ie systematic review summary report, which condenses evidence from the Campbell review alongside three further reviews of evidence (global project portfolio, systematic review of targeting, and cost-effectiveness). The report is designed to be useful to policymakers and practitioners. It can be found on the 3ie website.

Update on titles and protocols

In addition to the FFS review, IDCG have published six titles and seven protocols since February 2014, covering a broad range of topics including youth gang violence, cash transfers in humanitarian emergencies, nutrition, access to electricity, business support for SMEs and a range of education and agricultural interventions. Information on these and other IDCG registered reviews can be found in the Campbell library.

Campbell Collaboration co-chair elections

The IDCG conducted a successful election for a new IDCG Co-Chair to succeed co-chair Howard White. We are pleased to announce that Hugh Waddington was elected by the IDCG voting members. Hugh officially took over the role of co-chair in June 2014 and will serve a three year term until June 2017. IDCG would like to congratulate Hugh on his new role and thank Howard White for all his hard work and dedication that helped establish and build the IDCG to what it is today.

MEC2IR Guidelines

The Campbell Collaboration has been working over the last year to adapt the Cochrane MECIR conduct and reporting standards for use by Campbell review teams. The new guidelines, which are being called MEC2IR, will be published and adopted on the 1st October 2014 after several rounds of feedback. All draft protocols submitted to the editorial process after this date must comply with MEC2IR mandatory conduct and reporting standards in order to be approved for publication in the Campbell Systematic Reviews series. Campbell hopes that this should improve both the speed of publication and the author experience, in that methodological expectations are clearly stated at the outset of the review process.

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


Update from the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation 3ie logo

3ie appoints new executive director

3ie has appointed Emmanuel Jimenez to succeed Howard White as the executive director of 3ie. Emmanuel (Manny) Jimenez comes to 3ie after 30 years at the World Bank Group where he provided technical expertise and strategic leadership in a number of research and operational positions. He is currently Director, public sector evaluations, in the Independent Evaluation Group at the Bank and expects to take up the new position at 3ie in February/March 2015.

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


What's new at the Institute for Gender and Health (IGH)


The world of health research is changing.  Research is rapidly improving our understanding of the many ways in which sex and gender influence our health, from the societal level down to our cells. Canada is now home to a growing community of researchers and knowledge users who are integrating sex and gender in their work to spark discovery, innovation and health impact. Exciting breakthroughs prove that this field is advancing, but there’s more to do.  Looking ahead to 2017, how will the CIHR Institute of Gender and Health (IGH) harness the international momentum behind sex, gender and health research to shape science for a healthier world?

On September 30th, we’re launching an exciting new chapter in IGH’s story.  Are you ready?

  • Watch the trailer.
  • Join us on Twitter at #shapingscience, where we’ll be sharing infographics and other sneakpeeks from IGH’s upcoming report starting on September 16th.
  • Email us with your name and mailing address to receive your personal copy of the report.

To receive updates from the CIHR Institute of Gender and Health directly to your inbox, subscribe toIGH eNews – your monthly source for the latest news on sex, gender and health research in Canada, including information about funding and other IGH initiatives, news from the field, upcoming events, trending stories and important updates from across CIHR.

Contact information:
Meridith Sones
Knowledge Translation Manager, CIHR Institute of Gender and Health

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------EA training

Evidence Aid Training Opportunity

Upcoming training event taking place in Belfast (Northern Ireland, UK)
November 13 and 14, 2014

Course Outline

Building on his successful and popular 2-day courses on systematic reviews, Professor Mike Clarke will run an Evidence Aid course, placing systematic reviews in the context of disasters and the provision of humanitarian aid, both medical and non-medical. The course provides learning and practical experience for many aspects of systematic reviewing, including question formulation, setting the eligibility criteria, searching and critical appraisal of studies, data extraction, analysis, and reporting. Examples used to illustrate the key steps will be relevant to the humanitarian sector and participants should leave the course feeling much more comfortable about using reviews for decision making and confident about conducting a systematic review. 


The registration fee is £150 for the two days, which will include lunch, tea and coffee on both days. Certificates of attendance will be available for those who request them. As noted in the 'How to apply' section below, attendees will be allocated a place on a 'first come, first served' basis. 

How to apply Claire

Applicants should contact Claire Allen (callen@evidenceaid.org), providing their contact details and up to 100 words on why they would like to attend the course. Attendees will be allocated a place on a 'first come, first served' basis and a wait list will be held.


Update from the Sex/Gender Methods Group

The Sex and Gender Working Group has a new name! The group is now called the Sex/Gender Methods Group. We have updated our website to reflect this change. Visit the website for more information about the group: https://equity.cochrane.org/sex-and-gender-analysis 


Equity Presentations 

Canadian Cochrane Symposium: Ottawa, Canada
April 24-25, 2014

The Equity Methods Group presented a workshop 'Guidance for conducting and reporting equity related systematic reviews'.

The Sex/Gender Methods Group (a subgroup of the Equity Methods Group) presented a workshop 'Integrating sex/gender analysis into systematic review'

Dr. Peter Tugwell presented in the final plenary session on 'Your review is finished: Who cares?' which covered the many knowledge translation products used by the Cochrane Collaboration.

OMERACT (Outcome Measures in Clincial Trials): Budapest, Hungary
May  7-10, 2014

At this year's OMERACT meeting in Budapest, Hungary, the Equity Methods Group along with Rachelle Buchbinder of Monash University and Francis Guillemin and Jonathan Epstein, of the University of Lorraine, led a session to introduce methods for assessing readability and comprehensibility and conducting cross-cultural adaptation of patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs). The goal of the group is to ensure that both of these concepts are considered when PROMs are developed. A paper on the discussion from this session will be published in 2015.

Croatian Cochrane Symposium: Split, Croatia
June 6, 2014 

Dr. Peter Tugwell presented on 'Knowledge translation, applicability, and generalisability of systematic reviews'. He also presented as part of a round table discussion on 'Expanding the Cochrane Collaboration in the region' with Mark Wilson (CEO of the Cochrane Collaboration), Irena Zakarija Grković (Co-Director of the Croatian Cochrane Branch), and Dario Sambunjak (Co-Director of the Croatian Cochrane Branch).

IGH Institute Advisory Board: Vancouver, Canada
June 12, 2014 

Dr. Vivian Welch presented the work of the Equity Methods Group as well as the successes, chellenges, and opportunities to the IGH Institute Advisory Board on June 12, 2014. Read more on the IGH website.


Upcoming conferences

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'

cape town

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

  • Evidence Aid Symposium 2014: Hyderabad India - September 20, 2014
    • Targeted to policy makers, academics, humanitarian aid agencies, and those preparing for/responding to natural disasters and humanitarian crises. For more information visit the website.
  • GRADE and Equity: Hyderabad, India - September 26, 2014
    • Open meeting to discuss paper series on considering health equity in guideline development using GRADE. For more information, visit the website
  • Webinar! Systematic reviews of complex interventions: Part 1 – Framing the review question
    • Presenter: Janet Squires, RN, PhD

      Description:  The most important decision a systematic review author has to make when planning a review is to determine the focus and question the review will try to address. This webinar will explore: what makes a good systematic review question? why is additional guidance on question formulation  needed for complex interventions? And what specific issues related to complexity can impact review question formulation? 
      For more information, see the Canadian Cochrane Centre's website. 

  • Health Systems Strengthening: Improving Governance and Ensuring Equity: Ottawa, Canada - November 5-9, 2014
    • 5 day intensive certificate course intended for health development practitioners, health and development donors, civil society representatives, students, and mid-level government officials working in public health. For more information, visit the website.


Equity News Briefs

  • In April, Dr. Peter Tugwell and Jennifer Petkovic traveled to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore to learn more about the Lives Saved Tool (LiST) and how the Equity Methods Group might be able to use LiST modeling data to present systematic review evidence to policy makers. 
  • We have had a visiting scholars over the last few months: 
    • Josip Šimić, from the University of Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina, visited for 4 weeks and learned about systematic review literature searches.Josip
      June 18, 2014 (L to R): Elizabeth Ghogomu, Al Mayhew, Monisha Kabir, Jennifer Petkovic, Jordi Pardo Pardo, Mary Ellan Schaafsma, Josip Šimić 
    • Lucia Méndez Sánchez, from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, in Mexico City. Lucia visited for 8 weeks and worked on systematic reviews of  calcium and vitamin D.lucia
      July 31, 2014 (L to R): Tamara Rader, Jennifer Petkovic, Jordi Pardo Pardo, Al Mayhew, Liz Lacasse, Lara Maxwell, Elizabeth Ghogomu, Lucia Méndez Sánchez

  • We need your help! We are looking for examples of (1) burden of inequality that faces seniors/older adults based on the PROGRESS Plus factors (Place of residence, Race/ethnicity/culture/language, Occupation, Gender/sex, Religion, Education, Socioeconomic status, Social Capital) and (2) an intervention that has been proven to reduce the burden. We are also interested in additional factors of relevance for describing disadvantage among older adults including: low literacy, immigrant and refugees, elder abuse, social frailty, physical frailty, and mental health issues or dementia.If you have any examples to share please contact jennifer.petkovic@uottawa.ca.
  • Congratulations to the Equity Group's coordinator, Jennifer O'Neill, who got married on August 9, 2014. Jennifer's name has changed to Jennifer Petkovic and her new email address is jennifer.petkovic@uottawa.ca.
  • Interested in using equity methods in your next systematic review? Visit our website for resources for planning, conducting, and reporting your review. https://equity.cochrane.org/resources-review-author

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


New publications

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 Petkovic (jennifer.petkovic@uottawa.ca) to discuss your needs. 


The Campbell and Cochrane Equity Methods Group

Elizabeth Kristjansson, Advisory Member

Jennifer Petkovic, Coordinator

Mark Petticrew, Co-Convener

Kevin Pottie, Advisory Member

Peter Tugwell, Co-Convener
c/o Kerry Scrivens, 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

Email: jennifer.petkovic@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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