Introduction to Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis, 27-28 November 2017, Porto, Portugal

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 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 mail Marta Pinto at [email protected] stating name and affiliation. This event is free of charge.


Day 1:

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    Search Strategies, and case study

12.30-13.30    Lunch

13.30-14.45    Screening studies and coding study content

14.45-15.00    Break

15.00-16.00    Introduction to meta-analysis and testing for heterogeneity

16.00-16.30    End of day quiz


Day 2:

9.00-10.30       Effect sizes: Computation and interpretation 

10.30-10.45    Break

10.45-12.15     Exercise: Creating and interpreting forest plots with Cochrane’s RevMan software

12.15-13.00     Bias assessment and meta-regression

13.00-14.00    Lunch

14.00-15.30     Interpreting and reporting results, technical reporting standards

15.30-15.45    Break

15.45-16.30     Introduction to Campbell Collaboration, review registration process and the Campbell Title Registration Form        

16.30-17.00    Course evaluation, award of certificates

Download PDF version of the programme here.

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