Cochrane’s Governing Board (its ‘Trustees’), including our four new members elected in December, met in London on 19 to 20 January 2019.
The day before the meeting the new Board members met with the Co-Chairs for a comprehensive induction and briefing session. This provided an atmosphere for a frank face-to-face discussion and sharing of perspectives about challenges and opportunities for Cochrane, including issues raised by Cochrane members over the last six months, among them the decisions taken by the Governing Board in Edinburgh and the subsequent consequences. Then followed a Board-only development day, spent getting to know each other and our priorities and aspirations for Cochrane. We were fully briefed on what the responsibilities are for Governing Boards of a values-led, ethical, accountable global organisation such as Cochrane and on what is legally required in leading a Charity such as ours.
We share a common commitment to:
- Exploring how Cochrane’s mission and principles can be further reinforced and developed
- Strengthening our global diversity
- Stimulating the full engagement of the Cochrane Community,
- Improving communication, with greater clarity and respect, and
- Focusing on aligning the principles of the Collaboration with its sustainability.
We committed to working constructively and respectfully in the coming months to inform and invite open Cochrane Community discussion and consultation at the Governance Meeting in Krakow. We will outline what we see as the big issues and priorities for Cochrane and the Board, align them with our Strategy to 2020, and outline our plans for consulting and working with the Cochrane Community in addressing these issues and opportunities.
The agenda and papers for the Board meeting held on Day 2 are available online and full minutes will be circulated in the coming weeks. Some key points are: that we have begun the critical process of recruitment for our new Editor-in-Chief, and are working with Cochrane Council to develop draft ‘Principles of Collaboration’ and ‘Dispute Resolution Procedures’ for widespread Community input. We hope these will serve us well as clear policies to underpin decisions and collaborative ways of working going forward.
We spent time reviewing our organisational targets for 2019 and renewing our support for the following:
- continuously improving The Cochrane Library by implementing innovations in content and format;
- growing capacity for authors and groups in production of more complex reviews and new methods;
- focusing on editorial quality;
- investing in editorial management systems;
- strengthening our global diversity;
- developing a deeper understanding of issues and options around organisational and financial sustainability; specifically, the implications of Open Access
We are looking forward to meeting further in Krakow and encourage you to participate in the current wide consultation about Cochrane’s policy on conflict of interest.