Introduction to Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis, 22-24 January 2018, Accra, Ghana

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.

The use of systematic reviews and meta-analyses can be conducted across the 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 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. In addition, the group will be introduced to the process of registering titles and protocols, and conducting reviews with the Campbell Collaboration, and work in groups to produce titles for registration.

  • 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: This workshop includes lectures, discussion, group and computer exercises. Participants should bring their own laptops and should download Cochrane’s RevMan software from this site: prior to the workshop.

To register please login This event is free of charge.


Day 1: Wednesday, 22 January 2018 

Day 1 will be facilitated by Howard White 

08.30‐09.00  Registration and choice of topic for group work

09.00‐09.15  Welcome and introductions 

09.15‐10.00  Why systematic reviews are important 

10.00‐10.30  Campbell development quiz 

10.30‐10.45  Break 

10.45‐11.30  Question setting 

11.40‐12.30  Systematic review case study: health insurance 

12.30‐13.30  Lunch 

13.30‐14.15  Search strategies 

14.15‐14.45  Search strategy for an EGM   

14.45‐15.00  Break 

15.00‐16.00  Screening studies and coding study content  

16.00‐16.30   Effect sizes and forest plots  

16.30‐17.00  End of day quiz     

Day 2: Tuesday, 23 January 2018 

Day 2 will be facilitated by Howard White 

9.00‐10.30  Introduction to meta‐analysis and testing for heterogeneity  

10.30‐10.45  Break 

10.45‐12.15  Effect sizes: Computation and interpretation 

12.15‐13.00  Exercise: Creating and interpreting forest plots with Cochrane’s RevMan  software 

13.00‐14.00  Lunch 

14.00‐15.30  Bias assessment and meta‐regression 

15.30‐15.45  Break 

15.45‐16.30  Interpreting and reporting results, technical reporting standards     

16.30‐17.00  End of day quiz 

Day 3, Wednesday, 24 January 2018 

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 

Download PDF version of the programme here.

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