On September 9th, 2021 Cochrane’s Editor in Chief, Karla Soares-Weiser presented a new model for synthesizing evidence in Cochrane. To further explore the structure and guiding principles for this new model we are conducting a series of workshops. They are open to the whole Cochrane community – Fields, Geographic Groups, Review Groups, Authors, Consumers and Methods Groups – so that all Cochrane’s dedicated members can contribute to writing the next chapter in the Cochrane story. The presentation portion of these workshops will be recorded and shared here for those not able to attend.
Future of evidence synthesis in Cochrane – an introduction (repeated in workshop 2).
Wednesday September 29th 1400-1600 UTC
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In this introductory workshop we will highlight the significant challenges and forces for change that require Cochrane to critically re-evaluate and redefine our model for synthesizing evidence. In line with Cochrane’s Strategy for Change, the Governing Board has approved plans to develop and refine a new model of evidence synthesis. This new model will be described further in this first workshop. The core elements of the model are:
- A framework for responding to global health and social care priorities
- A smaller number of multidisciplinary evidence synthesis units to replace the current structure of 52 Cochrane Review Groups
- A centralized editorial service
- Innovative products and efficient publishing practices
We are keen to hear from the wider Cochrane community – Fields, Geographic Groups, Review Groups, Authors, Consumers and Methods Groups – about their ideas for refining the model and creating a sustainable future for Cochrane. There will be an opportunity to ask questions about the structure, ideas and guiding principles underpinning the model. This first session sets the stage for more in-depth explorations of specific elements of the model that will follow over the remainder of the workshop series.
The workshops are not the only way to get involved and provide feedback. From Tuesday, 28 September, an interactive, online version of the model will be available, and you will be able to share your feedback on key elements of the model via a website.
This second session is a repeat of the introductory workshop held on Wednesday September 29th 1400-1600 UTC.
The third workshop in the series will begin with a brief recap of the new Cochrane evidence synthesis model followed by an exploration of how Cochrane evidence synthesis can address the most important health and care challenges globally. The model proposes an organization-wide approach that will allow us to think more broadly about the evidence our stakeholders need and avoid duplication of effort. A set of high-level themes is proposed in the model to help focus our efforts and provide a coherent framework for deciding the broad areas in which Cochrane should be providing evidence. Participants will have an opportunity to contribute ideas about how a flexible but co-ordinated approach can help us to diversify our sources of funding and make Cochrane more competitive and sustainable.
The fourth workshop in the series will begin with a brief recap of the new Cochrane evidence synthesis model followed by a deeper dive into the structure and core business of the multidisciplinary evidence synthesis units. We will set out the rationale for organizing the units geographically, explore how we can retain Cochrane’s highly skilled and committed people as part of the new model, consider how the units will work with Cochrane’s central team and how they will be funded. The aim is to create simpler, more streamlined units that can respond quickly to funder and stakeholder needs. Efficiency, sustainability, and accountability are key to the structure and functioning of the evidence synthesis units and participants will have an opportunity to contribute ideas in line with these principles.
Evidence synthesis units – People & expertise.
Monday October 18th 0900-1100 UTC
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The fifth workshop in the series will begin with a brief recap of the new Cochrane evidence synthesis model followed by an exploration of how we make best use of Cochrane’s extraordinary people – researchers, clinicians, consumers, methodologists - in the new model. Having the right mix of skills and expertise within the evidence synthesis units is key to ensuring that topic coverage is effectively managed in a geographically organized structure and vital to being able to attract funding. This session will focus on how we will ensure the skills mix within the units supports development of different types of synthesized evidence. We will examine how expertise can be shared across the units and how they draw on the central team for methods and training support. We are keen to hear ideas from the community about what the right balance of skills would be, to ensure that high quality evidence syntheses are delivered sustainably.
The sixth workshop in the series will begin with a brief recap of the new Cochrane evidence synthesis model followed by a deeper exploration of the relationship between the evidence synthesis units, other Cochrane groups and external partners. We will look at the role of the Methods Group, Fields, and Geographic Groups in encouraging diversity, of both topics and people, and consider funding options for these parts of Cochrane. We will consider the possibility of the evidence synthesis units forming partnerships with like-minded, external organizations to address a broader range of questions, including those that Cochrane has not traditionally focussed on. We would like to hear from the community about optimize collaboration between units and what partnerships would be most beneficial in terms of delivering high quality, relevant evidence syntheses.
The final workshop in the series will begin with a brief recap of the new Cochrane evidence synthesis model followed by a detailed discussion of the editorial management process and how it fits with the units. We will report on what has been happening in the Central Editorial Service pilot so far and discuss how to the service could be funded going forward. This workshop will also be an opportunity to discuss how we use our peer reviewer expertise judiciously and how we effectively engage Cochrane consumers to ensure questions have been answered in the right way.