Special sessions

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Special Sessions are symposia taking place within the Global Evidence Summit programme that do not fit the workshop or abstract criteria. These sessions will use stakeholder engagement to share new concepts relevant to the Summit themes, use that further the event goals, foster interaction, and the development of partnerships with external organisations.

The full schedule and sign-up is available, here.

Threaded special sessions

Threaded special sessions will continue the key topic and discussions from the related plenary.

Plenary 1: EVIDENCE FOR AFRICA: How evidence is changing communities across one continent 

Session 1

Evidence for social and economic policy

This session will share African experiences of different channels through which different types of evidence are being used for better social and economic policies and practice.

Session 2

Evidence to action: Start with the action

This session considers examples of how the Effective Health Care Consortium have tried to do this, and lessons learnt from these attempts.

Session 3

Evidence-informed policy making within and beyond health: Lessons learnt from initiatives using different forms of engagement

This session will demonstrate initiatives and networks for health policies across low- and middle-income countries.

Plenary 2: BREAKING DOWN THE SILOS: Digital and trustworthy evidence ecosystem

Session 4

The inefficiency of isolation: Why evidence providers and evidence synthesisers can break out of their silos

This session will outline the problems of poor primary research and inefficient evidence synthesis, what is being done to address this and how interactions between primary research and evidence synthesis can contribute to an evidence ecosystem. 

Session 5

From reviews to guidelines and point-of-care evidence use

How the best available evidence makes its way through the Evidence Ecosystem until it is ready for end-users.

Session 6

Implementation, improved care and back again

This session closes the loop of evidence implementation at the point of care by using patient data to identify specific needs of care, measuring outcomes of delivered care, and iterating this process to continuously collect new evidence and learn what works best.

Plenary 3: EVIDENCE FOR EMERGING CRISES: How international collaboration and innovation can solve global humanitarian crises, such as Ebola

Session 7

Evidence matters: Examples of evidence-based decision making in humanitarian emergencies and how it can be improved

Using storytelling to describe the use of evidence-based decision making in the humanitarian context, explain why some interventions are used despite a lack of evidence and discuss how evidence is interpreted differently in different contexts. The session will also consider how evidence-based decision making can be improved in the humanitarian sector.

Session 8

Refugee crisis in health and society

Lebanon hosts more than 1.5 Syrian refugees, and is the country with the highest per capita concentration of refugees worldwide. Dr. Elie Akl, chair of the session, will start with a description of the protracted Syrian crisis. This will be followed by three presentations to provide illustrative examples about the interventions used in Lebanon to address different aspects of the crisis. Audience discussion will take place after each presentation. 


Session 9

Climate change in focus: Incorporating evidence synthesis methodology into environmental decision making

A practical session featuring two presentations and group discussions about understanding how evidence synthesis methods can benefit climate change research, and coming up with ideas about how evidence synthesis methods can contribute to anticipating and addressing policy needs related to climate change. 

Plenary 4: EVIDENCE IN A POST-TRUTH WORLD: The evidence, ethos and pathos. How scientists can engage, and influence the public, press and politicians 

Session 10

Separating fact from fiction – enhancing critical thinking to equip the next generation for the post-truth society

To showcase teaching and learning approaches to prepare the next generation to function in a post-truth society – to make decisions informed by best evidence and not based on beliefs and practices of some.

Session 11

Telling good stories: A workshop in the art of persuasion

To explore how the principles of rhetoric and persuasion introduced in the plenary ‘Evidence in a Post-Truth World’ can be applied to specific cases.

Session 12

Access to research results for decision making

What steps can be taken by stakeholders in different areas to enforce universal clinical trial registration and timely public disclosure of methods and results? Can clinical trial transparency and accountability frameworks be extended into pre-clinical research and post-licensure implementation research? How can the value of registries be maximised for evidence assessment processes? 

Other special sessions

These special sessions have been submitted and coordinated by the Scientific Committee.

Global evidence, local needs: Lessons from practical philosophy about using different knowledge

To learn from recent developments in practical philosophy and reasoning that address the use and integration of diverse forms of knowledge for local decision making. Discuss how the principles of evidence-based medicine can be applied with different sources of knowledge in different contexts.

Facilitating evidence-informed decisions about complex interventions

Presentations on the principal elements of research synthesis and guideline development for complex interventions and systems.

Surfing, drowning or wiped out by big data: Which way for evidence synthesis? 

Data relevant to health are increasing - in volume, variety and velocity. These ‘big’ or ‘diverse’ data are also become more available and more usable, including individual participant data (IPD) from trials, data obtained from electronic medical records (EMRs), administrative data and associated data linkage systems; as well as ‘~omics’ data (e.g. genomics, proteomics) and data from social networks, wearable and mobile devices.

From living systematic reviews to living recommendations

Participants will learn about concurrent developments with living systematic reviews and living guidelines, and how the two can be integrated within the context of the new evidence ecosystem.

Involving people in society and healthcare

  • Gain an overview of different approaches to PPI the wide range of health and social research and policy settings.
  • Contribute to the discussion of similarities and differences in approaches, exploring issues of language, culture, values, goals and other factors that affect the practice of PPI.
  • Help identify areas for future development and opportunities for collaboration.

Increasing value and reducing waste in research - towards an evidence-based research approach

A forum for the sharing of knowledge and ideas for reducing research waste and promoting evidence-based Research, i.e. the use of prior research in a systematic and transparent way to inform a new study so that it is answering questions that matter in a valid, efficient and accessible manner.

"Guidelines meet shared decision making. Happy ever after?"

This goal of this session is to suggest the relevant questions that guideline developers and shared decision making advocates may want to ask each other.

Rapid reviews to strengthen health policy and systems 

The purpose of this session is to discuss how rapid reviews can be conducted and used to inform health policy-making and strengthen health systems. The session will also introduce the new publication Rapid Reviews to Strengthen Health Policy and Systems: A Practical Guide, published by the WHO Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research (HPSR).

Implementation and translation frameworks in low- and middle-income countries, international collaboration

This session provides an introduction to knowledge translation and implementation frameworks and the role of international collaboration in advancing implementation of evidence in LMIC. 

What can evidence-based education and healthcare learn from each other?

This sessions will address opportunities for shared learning and collaboration between evidence-based education and healthcare. 

Evidence-based education policy and practice: Sharing global experiences

This session will share global experiences of evidence-based policy and practice in education. Participants will learn how evidence is being generated and used in South Africa and the UK, as well as getting a global overview of the growth of rigorous impact evaluation in education.

A dialog with funders: What approaches and activities ensure research achieves its expected impact?

This topic concerns how funders can engage with the evidence community not only to support the most relevant and high-quality primary research and evidence synthesis but also in knowledge-translation initiatives to support guidelines, decision aid, implementation and quality improvement.

Scientific journals and evidence: What does the future hold?

To explore how journals might better support readers’ learning and practice in future.

Evidence and gap maps: A systematic approach to scoping

To highlight the different methodological  approaches used in building EGMs, Illustrate examples of EGMs and subsequently its use to inform research and policy.

Overcoming barriers to implementing an evidence-based approach in the humanitarian sector

Raise the profile of the use of robust evidence in the humanitarian sector. Highlight barriers towards using evidence in the humanitarian sector. Debate solutions to ensure greater use of evidence in the humanitarian sector. Publish a commentary about improving the use of evidence in the humanitarian sector, perhaps with accompanying podcasts.

Research synthesis priorities and guideline development: linking evidence synthesis production to evidence needs

This session will share, through a series of examples, strategies used to bridge this gap.

Impact and evaluation of research: Perspectives from funders and users of research

The objectives of the panel include sharing the perspectives from various funding agencies, evidence users and other stakeholders on the impact of research investments.

Rigorous and relevant systematic reviews: Lessons learned from mixed-methods approaches in international development 

Systematic reviews in international development can incorporate different methods to answer relevant questions for policy makers.

A panoramic view of rapid reviews: Uses and perspectives from global collaborations and networks 

To exchange ideas about how rapid reviews have evolved as a useful information tool to support evidence-informed policy and practice.

Mapping the evidence: Different approaches to evidence mapping across disciplines

Evidence mapping has been used to collate and describe bodies of research, particularly the study settings and methods used, without extracting or synthesising study findings.

Addressing the global health workforce shortfall by 2030: The need for intersectoral research evidence

This session will discuss the need for research evidence to inform policy making from the perspective of several African countries, with a focus on interventions to tackle the human resource crisis in the health sector.

Evidence synthesis for health policy and systems: Approaches, challenges and stakeholder engagement

Researchers and policy makers will be invited to the session to share their views on using evidence to inform health policy and systems decisions. 

Global ageing: Defining the evidence agenda. Towards 2020, the WHO decade of Healthy Ageing: A Cochrane-Campbell response 

This special session will provide an opportunity for a multidisciplinary discussion to explore thoughts, opinions, share best practice, network and collaborate towards the aims above.

How can the impacts of dissemination bias in qualitative research be detected in the context of qualitative evidence syntheses? Identifying new approaches

  • To discuss how the impacts of dissemination bias in qualitative research might be detected in the context of qualitative evidence syntheses. 
  • To explore how approaches for detecting these impacts might be tested.

Introducing Cochrane Global Mental Health – improving the impact of Cochrane Mental Health in low- and middle-income countries.

This session is intended as an introduction to Cochrane Global Mental Health and will provide an opportunity for participants to engage in our work.

New approaches to enhance evidence use through continued technical support and collaboration with policy makers and senior officials

The participatory session will involve a roundtable discussion with contributors experienced in implementing and supporting novel approaches to enhance evidence use through continued technical support and collaboration with policy makers and senior officials.