Major milestones and new beginnings: Cochrane announces first round of new Thematic Groups

Defocused sparkles for a celebration

Cochrane is closing out a year of significant change and challenges with positive news of a major milestone in our transition to a more streamlined and sustainable organization. Following an open and rigorous application process, we are pleased to announce the first set of pilot Cochrane Thematic Groups – each mapping to key areas of global health and social care.

The Cochrane Thematic Groups are:

  • Global Ageing
  • Health Equity
  • Nutrition and Physical Activity
  • Person-Centred Care, Public Health and Health Systems
  • Sexual and Reproductive Health
  • Vascular
  • Work and Health and Social Security

"The concept of Thematic Groups was developed at a grass roots level during last year’s community consultation process," explains Cochrane’s Editor in Chief, Karla Soares-Weiser. "The creation and remit of these new groups reflects the clear community consensus that our specialist content and methods experts must have a central role and home within our new production model."

"It’s already evident from the calibre of first round applications we received that this was a fantastic idea. Thematic Groups will open new avenues and opportunities for expanding our existing global networks and cross-disciplinary collaborations. They’ll also enable us to share vital subject expertise and practical know-how with internal and external stakeholders, including guideline developers, government agencies, policy makers and disease associations working on the world’s most pressing issues. We know there’s no shortage of complex global challenges to address – including pandemic recovery and future preparedness, equity, climate change and a raft of other important Sustainable Development Goals we have in our sights."

To contribute to global efforts across these critical areas, Thematic Groups will focus on priority setting and supporting the development and dissemination of high-quality evidence in accessible formats. They will work closely with the ten new multi-disciplinary Evidence Synthesis Units (ESUs) we plan to establish over the next three to five years. Any evidence syntheses developed by the Thematic Groups will be submitted to Cochrane’s Central Editorial Service.

To keep the community up to date with these and other developments, an updated Future Cochrane site will be launched in mid-December. It will include:

  • a new series profiling the people, partnerships and priorities of each new Thematic Group
  • key information about Cochrane’s new model and organizational structure
  • access to this year’s entire webinar series on various aspects of transition plans, projects and processes
  • the aims, milestones and estimated timelines for the 10 major projects underway to deliver our new model of production.

 "We know the last few years have seen the Cochrane community grappling with the uncertainty and profound challenges that come with major transitions," Karla says. "The establishment of our first round of Thematic Groups represents a really positive and significant step in Cochrane’s organizational transformation and sets the scene for a new year of further progress and promising possibilities."

1 December 2022