CEO Office: 2021 activities

External Affairs and Geographic Groups’ Support Unit

The External Affairs and Geographic Groups’ Support Unit of the CEO Office has four main areas of work:

Advocacy in 2021:

  • Further developing World Evidence-Based Healthcare Day for its second year.
  • More trial transparency work led at the national/regional level by Cochrane Geographic Groups in collaboration with local partners – and through rekindling Cochrane’s involvement in AllTrials.
  • Advocacy around Cochrane Convenes - a high-level virtual event about evidence and COVID-19 that Cochrane will host.
  • Monitoring, responding and supporting with general advocacy opportunities (e.g. through World Health Assembly and regional WHO meetings; UN Decade of Healthy Ageing).
  • Developing position statements on key topics for the Cochrane community to use in their advocacy efforts.

Partnerships in 2021:

  • Further expand and build on our official relation with WHO. In 2021, our plan of work with WHO will be revisited, and formal reporting for the period 2019-2021 will be done. Aim to expand the work further to WHO regional and country offices.
  • A partnership strategy will be drafted – reviewing all current partnerships and exploring new strategic partnerships that we may want to develop.
  • Ongoing support and development of other partnerships (i.e. Guidelines International Network; Campbell).
  • Continuing the work with Wikipedia.

Fundraising in 2021:

  • Development of a fundraising strategy – outlining strategies for diversifying and increasing income.
  • Organising a Funders forum (April 2021; possibly a second one in October) to allow Cochrane’s main funders to discuss Cochrane’s new Strategic Framework and hear from funders about their priorities for the organization.
  • Maintaining existing relationships and submitting grant applications where appropriate.

Geographic Groups Support in 2021:

  • Ongoing support to Cochrane’s Geographic Groups community;
  • Regular (5-6 times a year) meetings of all Directors to discuss key issues of importance to Geographic Groups;
  • Improvement of management structures and processes;
  • Set up of the Cochrane India Network.

Governance and Strategy Unit

1. Aims of Department

  • Lead Cochrane’s governance support and compliance, strategic planning, and organisational monitoring, evaluation and reporting functions.
  • Improve the evidence base for strategic decision making
  • Support the CET to plan, prioritise, deliver, monitor and evaluate their own work
  • Promote, facilitate and live diverse collaboration and engagement across the entire organisation, strategic planning and evaluation

2. Team

  • Lucie Binder, Head of Governance and Strategy
  • Veronica Bonfigli, Governance Officer
  • Juliane Ried, Planning & Performance Manager
  • Susan Evans, Project Portfolio Officer

3. Functional Areas

  • CET Project Portfolio: governance and reporting
  • Charitable management (e.g. AGM, Annual Review)
  • Council
  • Governing Board and Sub-Committees
  • Group Executives
  • Organizational complaints management
  • Organizational policy
  • Organizational risk management
  • Organizational strategy planning, monitoring & evaluation

4. Activities under each Functional Area

Supporting Goal 4 - Building an effective and sustainable organisation

CET Project Portfolio: governance and reporting

  • Design & regularly update a Cochrane calendar schedule for 2021 (with CET colleagues), to include key events, Governance meetings, project milestones.
  • Provide a portfolio view of activities to SMT on a quarterly basis
  • Support SMT with the development of activities under Objectives (with Plan & Budget) for 2022
  • Supporting the PET Project in project planning and reporting processes and templates. Supporting cross-departmental planning & reporting; and reporting to the SMT.

Charitable management (e.g. AGM, Annual Review)

  • Governance Code monitoring
  • Statutory requirements of the charity
  • Good governance in a virtual environment


  • Meeting management
  • Ongoing support
  • Elections

Governing Board and Sub-Committees 

  • Meeting management
  • Ongoing support
  • Elections

Group Executives

  • Oversight of Executives
  • Implementation of recommendations from Execs Review

Organizational complaints management

  • Complaints oversight
  • Complaints Procedure implementation (inc Whistleblowing Policy)

Organizational policy

  • Development and maintenance of organizational policies
  • Alignment of accountability structures and roles in Cochrane (inc organizational and editorial policies); review Collaboration Agreements and accountability structures for Cochrane
  • Completion of Conflict of Interest policy for non CLIB
  • GDPR audit and implementation of recommendations

Organizational risk management

  • Monitoring and reporting on organizational risk

Organizational strategy planning, monitoring & evaluation

  • Ongoing monitoring, evaluation, reporting and communication
  • Annual strategic planning
  • Evaluation and report on Strategy to 2020
  • Establishment of monitoring and evaluation system and processes
  • Efficiency (sustainability) review
  • Development of post-2020 strategic plan
  • Consultation with external stakeholders on strategic priorities