Introduction to Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis, 12-14 December 2017, New Delhi

ISID Complex, Vasant Kunj Institutional Area, New Delhi

Background: The evidence for making policy, programme and practice decisions is best based on careful analyses and syntheses of multiple studies. These may be studies of the same topic such as microfinance and poverty, or across several areas of a single program, e.g. child abuse.

Systematic reviews and meta-analyses explore a variety of questions: What is the extent of the problem?  Which risk and protective factors are associated with specific conditions? How acceptable are certain interventions in different populations? Which interventions have been rigorously evaluated with what results? What works best, for whom, under what conditions, and at what cost?

Objectives: This workshop presents the scientific principles, methods, analysis, and reporting standards that guide the process of conducting systematic reviews and meta-analysis in social sciences. Participants will also work in groups to produce titles for registration with the Campbell Collaboration. Topics to be covered include:

  • Principles and methods of research synthesis
  • Common sources of bias and errors in research reviews
  • Steps in conducting systematic reviews and meta-analysis
  • Strategies for minimizing bias
  • Reporting standards and guidelines for systematic reviews
  • Problem formulation, and developing review questions in the Indian context
  • Uses and misuses of research synthesis to inform policy, practice and further research
  • Registering titles and protocols, and conducting reviews with the Campbell Collaboration

Methods: The workshop will employ the use of lectures, discussion, group and computer exercises. Participants should bring their own laptops and prior to the workshop should download Cochrane’s RevMan software from this site:

Instructors: Dr Howard White (CEO, Campbell Collaboration), Dr Denny John (Evidence Synthesis Specialist, Campbell Collaboration) and Hugh Waddington (Acting Head of 3ie London Office and IDCG Co-chair and Editor, Campbell Collaboration)

Target audience: Researchers, Faculty, PhD/MPhil Students, in Social Sciences

To register please fill out this form, or mail Denny John on [email protected] stating your name and affiliation. This event is free of charge. A limited number of bursaries are available for travel and accommodation for participants from out of Delhi.


Day 1: Tuesday, 12 December 2017 

Day 1 will be facilitated by Howard White, Denny John, and Ashrita Saran 

08.30-09.00    Registration and choice of topic for group work           

09.00-09.20    Welcome and introductions- HW 

09.20-10.15    Why systematic reviews are important- HW 

10.15-10.45    Break 

10.45-11.50    Question setting- AS 

11.50-12.30    Systematic review case study: health insurance- DJ 

12.30-13.30    Lunch 

13.30-14.15    Search strategies for reviews and EGMs- AS

14.15-14.45    Search strategy exercises- AS 

14.45-15.00    Break 

15.00-16.00    Screening studies with Cochrane Crowd exercise- DJ 

16.00-16.40    Critical appraisal- HW 

16.40-17.00    End of day quiz- HW, DJ, AS  


Day 2: Wednesday, 13 December 2017 

Day 2 will be facilitated by Hugh Waddington 

8.30-10.00      Introduction to effect sizes, forest plots, meta-analysis and testing for heterogeneity 

10.00-10.30    Break 

10.30-13:00    Effect sizes: Computation and interpretation

                      Bias assessment and meta-regression

                     Interpreting and reporting results, technical reporting standards 

13.00-14.00    Lunch 

14:00-15:00    Exercise: Creating and interpreting forest plots with Cochrane’s RevMan software 

15:00             Departure for attending 3ie Delhi Seminar 

16:00-17:00    Evidence synthesis: the third wave of the evidence revolution

                      Venue: India International Centre 

17:00             Return 


Day 3, Thursday, 14 December 2017 

Day 3 will be facilitated by Denny John 

09.00-09.45     Introduction to Campbell Collaboration and the process for registering a Campbell study, and the Campbell Title Registration Form 

09.45-10.45     Developing review questions 

10.45-11.00     Break 

11.00-11.15     Introduction to evidence synthesis software 

11.15-12.30     Completing the TRF for a review and an EGM 

12.30-13.30    Lunch 

13.30-14.30     Work on TRF 

14.30-14.45     Break 

14.45-16.00     Presentations

16.00-16.30     End of course quiz and course evaluation

16.30-17.00     Award of certificates 


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