The Campbell Collaboration
 

Do fat taxes work? Rely on the evidence not expert opinion

The Indian state of Kerala has introduced a fat tax on fast food in a bid to tackle obesity. A BBC report of the story included an expert who claimed both that the tax won’t work and that the government should run information campaigns instead to tell people that fast food is bad for them. In our new Campbell blog, Howard White argues that a review of the evidence shows that increasing the price of fast food can help to reduce demand. Further, a systematic review of interventions to promote healthy eating found no evidence of sustained benefits from information-based approaches. It’s time to rely on evidence, not opinions.

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YHEC training workshops on software to support systematic reviews

The York Health Economics Consortium (YHEC), University of York, is running two new training courses (6-7 October) in the field of systematic reviewing and information retrieval. Learn about special-purpose software packages and tools currently available to support systematic reviews and share experiences of using software in practice. The first workshop will review both commercial and not-for-profit systematic review management packages including Covidence, DistillerSR and EPPI-Reviewer. The second will review a range of free and commercial tools to tackle single tasks within the systematic review process such as Rayyan, RobotReviewer and CitNetExplorer.

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Programme online: What Works Global Summit 2016

What a lineup! The programme for the What Works Global Summit, London, 26-28 September is now online. Read about the exciting debates and presentations on what works in housing, policing, education, social welfare, health, development and more. The summit aims to put evidence at the heart of policy and practice, and includes debates and discussions with a wide range of international practitioners, policy makers and consumers. It’s set to be the evidence event of the year.

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Job opportunities at the Impact Genome Project

Mission Measurement is a leader in measuring social outcomes and helping companies, governments, foundations and nonprofits improve their return on investments in social change. Mission Measurement is looking to fill 2 new posts: a Director of Research, and a Research Bibliographer. Both posts form part of the Impact Genome Project – a multi-year research initiative spanning 11 areas of social policy (including education, public health, human services, and more).

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New Campbell publications, events, awards and funding

Campbell’s June 2016 newsletter is out, with updates about 4 new Plain Language Summaries and 3 Campbell Policy Briefs summarising evidence from Campbell's systematic reviews. Also featured: the latest on Campbell awards and funding, the upcoming What Works Global Summit 2016, and Campbell's Annual Report 2015. In the first of our policy briefs, on the effects of parenting programs, Professor Jane Barlow notes that there is unequivocal evidence showing that parenting programs are effective in improving aspects of parents’ psychosocial functioning in the short-term.

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‘Using Evidence. Improving Lives’ Campbell announces Global Evidence Summit 2017, 12-16 Sep, Cape Town, South Africa

‘Using Evidence. Improving Lives’ is the theme of the first ever Global Evidence Summit which will be held from 12-16 September in Cape Town, South Africa. This exciting event will highlight and promote evidence-informed approaches to global health, and social and economic policy and practice. The Campbell Collaboration is joined by Cochrane, the Guidelines International Network, the International Society for Evidence-Based Health Care, and the Joanna Briggs Institute.

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What works in promoting sustainable agriculture for smallholders?

Evidence shows that formal land titling has positive effects on agricultural productivity and incomes of freehold land titles in Asia and Latin America, but not in Africa. Further, Payment for Environmental Service (PES) schemes have only modest effects and may not be cost-effective. Our new Policy Brief summarizes key findings from five Campbell systematic reviews of land titling, training and technology, farmer field schools, payment for environmental services, and decentralized forest management. Read the full set of findings and further information about what works in agriculture.

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Courses and Resources: Systematic reviews and meta-analyses

Looking for introductory or advanced training in systematic reviews? Would you like to know more about how to conduct a meta-analysis? Or are you just looking for introductory information about systematic reviews – what makes them such powerful evidence tools, and what procedures are followed? Find out more about Campbell’s online training modules; a new systematic review training course at Maastricht University; workshops at the Specialist Unit for Review Evidence (SURE), Cardiff University; and online training from Johns Hopkins University.

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Campbell Annual Report 2015 – Building Better Evidence

The Campbell Annual Report 2015 is now available online. Find out more about the Campbell Collaboration, the systematic reviews we produce, who’s involved in our international research network, and about Campbell’s activities and achievements over the past last year. This is an exciting time for the organization, notes Howard White, CEO of Campbell, and we are committed to both rapidly expanding our Library of systematic reviews and ensuring greater policy uptake of our findings.

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Campbell launches new Policy Briefs publications

The Campbell Collaboration is pleased to announce the release of our new Policy Briefs series – publications designed to inform social policy and practice decisions. In the first, Professor Barlow summarizes evidence from 6 Campbell systematic reviews of parenting programs. Unequivocal evidence shows that they are effective in improving aspects of parents’ psychosocial functioning in the short-term. In the second Brief, Gary Ritter summarizes evidence from 6 reviews of the effects school-based interventions to improve student behavior. There are promising findings, for example, about interventions to reduce bullying, but policy makers need to press for more rigorous evidence when designing programs to improve student behavior. 

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