The AllTrials campaign calls for all past and present clinical trials to be registered and their results reported. Hundreds of thousands of clinical trials have been conducted from which no or limited data have been made available; data critical to enabling doctors and regulators to make informed decisions about which treatments to use and fund. This is a serious problem for evidence-based healthcare researchers, including Cochrane, because all the evidence about a treatment is needed to understand its risks and benefits. Without a complete picture of trial results available, information is lost; bad treatment decisions may be made; financial investment into ineffective treatments are approved by governments and regulators; opportunities for better and more effective treatment are missed; and trials are repeated unnecessarily, duplicating effort and wasting resources.
AllTrials founders were Ben Goldacre, author of Bad Science, along with the charity Sense About Science; the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine in Oxford; the James Lind Initiative; the BMJ; and Cochrane.
The Campbell Collaboration is an international research network that produces and disseminates systematic reviews on the effects of interventions in the social and behavioural sciences. It seeks to improve the quality of public and private services through enhancing the evidence base for social policy and practice. It produces reviews in the areas of Crime and Justice, Education, International Development, and Social Welfare.
Cochrane and Campbell have been closely affiliated since Campbell's establishment in 2000. In 2015 the two collaborations formalized plans to work more cooperatively and effectively together in a number of areas of common interest.
Choosing Wisely International
Choosing Wisely International is a collaboration of Choosing Wisely campaigns in over 20 countries worldwide. Choosing Wisely is a clinician-led movement which is committed to combatting medical overuse and ensuring high quality care. Choosing Wisely first launched in the United States in 2012, and has spread worldwide. The core principles common across Choosing Wisely campaigns are that they are: clinician led, multiprofessional, transparent, evidence-based and patient centred. Campaigns are led by national physician organizations and associations, who work with societies representing specialists or clinician groups to develop evidence-based recommendations of commonly overused medical tests, treatments and procedures that do not add value to patients, and may even cause harm. These recommendations are the basis for Choosing Wisely campaigns, and encourage evidence-based conversations about tests and treatments may not be beneficial, or even cause harm.
Choosing Wisely International is coordinated by Choosing Wisely Canada. Cochrane is exploring with Choosing Wisely International how Cochrane evidence can start informing in a more systematic manner the recommendations of Choosing Wisely campaigns.
The Epistemonikos Foundation is a non-profit organization whose core objectives are to bring evidence closer to those making health decisions through technology and innovation, primarily via the Epistemonikos database. The database was established in 2009 and at the end of 2016 included close to 100,000 systematic reviews. Cochrane’s partnership with Epistemonikos aims at improving the knowledge base for making decisions in health care and global health policy.
Evidence Aid started as a project within Cochrane. Evidence Aid’s vision is that those in need receive humanitarian aid in the most timely, effective and appropriate way possible. To achieve this, Evidence Aid’s mission is to inspire and enable those guiding the humanitarian sector to apply an evidence-based approach in their activities and decisions.
In doing this, Evidence Aid raises the profile of systematic reviews, including those published in the Cochrane Library, within the humanitarian sector. Relevant systematic reviews are added to the Evidence Aid resources, with very short summaries which are translated (currently into Spanish and French). This agreement to share and promote the Cochrane systematic reviews came in 2004 when Evidence Aid was established. Since Evidence Aid became an independent charity in 2015, it has expanded the resources to include non-Cochrane systematic reviews, but continues to assess Cochrane reviews in case of relevance. When reviews are of relevance, Evidence Aid contacts the Cochrane editorial group and the author to discuss getting the review on the resource page.
In addition, Evidence Aid has engaged Cochrane in the development of humanitarian specific Collections of evidence such as the ‘Health of Refugees and Asylum Seekers’ (published in 2016, jointly by Evidence Aid and Cochrane) and the ‘Prevention and treatment of acute malnutrition in emergencies and humanitarian crises‘ (which was published in March 2018).
Cochrane also took part in an Evidence Aid priority setting exercise to identify priority reviews for the humanitarian sector which was used by the Humanitarian Evidence Programme (HEP) to inform their programme of systematic reviews. Evidence Aid has also been represented at the World Health Assembly as a delegate of Cochrane, and has also included Cochrane in activities such as increasing the use of evidence in the Sphere Handbook (report available here) and the Geneva Evidence Lounge (Cochrane Switzerland). Cochrane was also a partner organization to the Evidence Lounge at the World Humanitarian Summit.
Guidelines International Network
Guidelines International Network's (G-I-N) mission is to lead, strengthen, and support collaboration in guideline development, adaptation and implementation.
As a major player on the global healthcare quality stage, G-I-N facilitates networking, promotes excellence, and helps our members create high quality clinical practice guidelines that foster safe and effective patient care.
Cochrane and G-I-N formalized a partnership arrangement in 2014, agreeing to work together collaboratively to ensure that evidence is both useful and used by people making decisions about health, from individuals to clinicians to international health policy-makers from all over the world.
The GRADE Working Group (GRADE) was established in 2000 to develop a sensible approach to assessing the certainty in a body of evidence based on systematic reviews, to developing recommendations in health care. Its work has expanded to methodology for informing other health evidence-related products and decisions, in particular guidelines, health technology assessments, policy decisions, and coverage decisions. GRADE has more than 500 international members and a growing number of globally distributed centres and networks. Over 90 organizations worldwide have endorsed the GRADE approach, which is pre-eminent among the available frameworks.
Joanna Briggs Institute
Established in 1996, The Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) is an international not-for-profit, research centre based within the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Adelaide, South Australia.
The Institute collaborates internationally with over 70 entities across the world. The Institute and its collaborating entities promote and support the synthesis, transfer and implementation of evidence through identifying feasible, appropriate, meaningful and effective healthcare practices to assist in the improvement of healthcare outcomes globally.
MAGIC (formally known as the MAking GRADE the Irresistible Choice (MAGIC) organization) is a non-profit research and innovation programme set up to make evidence summaries and recommendations that work for clinicians at the point of care and to facilitate shared decision-making with patients. Established in 2010, the MAGIC project has, among a number of other initiatives, developed the MAGICapp, a web-based platform for preparing guidelines using structured data systems and validated methods.
Cochrane and MAGIC aim to develop and implement joint activities that support and further strengthen the use of health evidence by people making decisions about health, from the individual patient to international health policy makers, within the context of a digital and trustworthy evidence ecosystem for health care.
Articles relating to medicine are viewed more than 180 million times per month on Wikipedia, yet less than 1 per cent of these have passed a formal peer review process. This opens up a unique opportunity for Cochrane to work with Wikipedia medical editors to transform the quality and content of health evidence available online. The partnership, formalized in 2014, supports the inclusion of relevant evidence within all Wikipedia medical articles, as well as processes to help ensure that medical information included in Wikipedia is of the highest quality and as accurate as possible. Trusted, evidence-based research can help people to make informed decisions about their own health care.
See also the Cochrane-Wikipedia project page for more information and for suggestions for how to engage in this work.
- Cochrane-Wikipedia Initiative: Keeping Wikipedia content up to date
- Wikipedia: an important dissemination tool for Cochrane
- The Cochrane-Wikipedia partnership in 2016
- The Cochrane Global Ageing Wikipedia Project Team
World Health Organization
Cochrane has been in official relations with the World Health Organization (WHO) since 2011.
This collaboration includes the right to appoint a representative to participate, without vote, in WHO’s meetings, including at the World Health Assembly, the WHO’s decision-making body, allowing us to make expository statements on WHO health resolutions.
This relationship gives us the opportunity to provide input on the way research evidence is identified, synthesized, assessed and used by WHO. It promotes inter-sectoral collaboration and high-quality research between our two organizations to produce the necessary evidence to ensure policies in all sectors contribute to improving health and health equity.
Cochrane’s partnership with WHO is guided by the Cochrane WHO Working Group. The Cochrane WHO Working Group aims to develop and strengthen Cochrane’s official partnership with WHO. It does this through facilitating technical input around systematic reviews and evidence-informed decision making to the various programmes, initiatives and departments of the WHO, and through working with the WHO to reach people making decisions in health. The terms of reference of the Working Group provide further detail.
The composition of the Working Group is currently as follows:
- Lisa Bero (co-chair)
- Erik von Elm
- Paul Garner
- Sylvia de Haan (co-chair)
- Pisake Lumbiganon
- Joerg Meerpohl
- Celeste Naude
- David Tovey
- Taryn Young
More information on our partnership with WHO:
- Collaborating with WHO for evidence-informed nutrition guidelines
- Cochrane Evidence used in new WHO guideline on intrapartum care for a positive birth experience (February 2018)
- Cochrane and WHO meet to discuss how to improve their long-standing partnership (April 2017)
- Cochrane Global Ageing makes statement at the World Health Organization (September 2016)
- The World Health Assembly – A great opportunity for Cochrane to engage with key stakeholders (May 2016)
- Cochrane statement to the WHA on managing conflict of interest (May 2016)
- Cochrane maintains status as NGO in official relations with WHO (January 2016)
- Cochrane issues statement on WHO guidelines development and governance (May 2015)
- New WHO position statement on public disclosure of clinical trial data (April 2015)