Summary of the May 2023 Governing Board Meeting

The Board, May 2023

The Governing Board met face-to-face in Paris in 20 May 2023. Members of the Board are Trustees of the Cochrane Charity and have overall responsibility for ensuring that Cochrane complies with our governing document, Charity Commission regulations and the law. The Co- Chairs of Council are members of the Governing Board but are not Trustees, they join all Governing Board meetings to provide links and improve communication between the Board and the wider Cochrane Community. The Board usually meet in-person at least once a year, with other meeting being held virtually. 

At the meeting in May, the Governing Board discussed the following: 

Regular reports 
Regular reports were given by the Chief Executive, the Editor in Chief, and the Co-Chairs of the Board. These reports set out activity and performance since the last Board meeting in March.

The Trustees’ Annual Report and Accounts for 2022  
The Trustees’ Annual Report and Accounts for 2022 was approved – all charities have to produce an annual report and accounts and file the document with the Charity Commission. The document sets out how we raised and used our resources during the previous year.  
The accounts must be audited and the report has to be produced in a specific way so that it complies with the legal and regulatory requirements. When the report has been signed by the auditor and submitted to the Charity Commission it will be published on the Cochrane website. View Trustees’ Annual Reports and Finance Statements from previous years

Open Access 
Laura Ingle, Director of Publishing and Technology, gave the Board an update on Open Access. Cochrane has committed to delivering full open access for all Cochrane Reviews on the Cochrane Library, by the end of 2025. A potential model that covers costs and generates enough surplus to fund future development has been identified and will be worked up into more detail over the next few months. 

Future of Evidence Synthesis 
The new model for producing Cochrane Evidence Syntheses was approved by the Governing Board in March 2022. It was designed through a process of community consultation and aims to ensure Cochrane remains viable, sustainable, and focused on major global health challenges now and into the future. More information and the latest developments can be found on the Future Cochrane website. Ongoing investment in the Central Editorial Service from strategic funds was approved too. 

Gavin Adams, Director of Development, gave an update from the Development directorate and Erik Daubert (a fundraising consultant) joined the meeting virtually and talked about developing a fundraising strategy for Cochrane. Members of the Governing Board agree that developing a fundraising strategy is essential.  

Strategy 2024-2027 
Catherine Spencer, CEO, presented the draft organizational strategy for 2024-2027 which has been drafted with input from a consultant (Tracey Barr), the Executive Leadership Team, the Wider Leadership Team, and the Governing Board. Four high-level goals have been identified which were reviewed by the Board and will be updated as the strategy develops. Wider input and engagement from the Cochrane community will be sought before the strategy is finalised. 

Catherine Marshall comes to the end of her second and final two-year term as Board Co-Chair in September 2023 and Tracey Howe comes to the end of her second and final two-year term in September 2024. Both have agreed that they will stand down in September 2023. The Board agreed that an open recruitment process should be held and that the interim arrangements will be shared with the Community once all of the details have been agreed.  
Two elected members of the Board - Tamara Kredo and Juan Franco come to the end of their terms in 2024, so elections will be held before the end of the year. 
Karen Kelly comes to the end of her term as Treasurer in September 2024 and so a new Treasurer will be sought too.  
A Governance Review which is being led by an external consultant will inform the next steps and decisions about succession planning. 

View the agenda, papers and minutes of the meeting

Please get in touch with Lucy Johnson-Brown, Head of Governance, if you have any questions. 

Tracey Howe & Catherine Marshall 
Co-Chairs, Governing Board 

7 July 2023