An Evidence Gap Map (EGM) is an intuitive, visual, and interactive tool designed to provide an overview of the existing evidence on a topic, theme, or domain. EGMs highlight gaps in the evidence base and show where evidence is more abundant.
EGMs most commonly include quantitative impact evaluations and systematic reviews of intervention effectiveness, or ‘what works’. EGMs of qualitative studies, which map the evidence on ‘how’ and ‘why’ interventions work, are becoming more common.
EGMs are matrices, where the rows display the interventions and the columns display the outcomes or the factors that may affect the implementation of interventions. Each cell in the matrix shows the number of studies available on an intervention’s effect on an outcome or implementation factor. Most EGMs also show the degree of confidence that can be placed in the findings of the included systematic reviews.
UNICEF uses EGMs to inform decisions about new research topics to address, as well as to make evidence available in an accessible format for decision makers.
Inclusive Interventions for Children with Disabilities Living in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: An Evidence and Gap Map
Our Evidence and Gap Map (EGM) of “Inclusive Interventions for Children with Disabilities in LMICs” shows that research is lacking in many critical areas: awareness and non-discrimination, protection, adequate standard of living, family and community life, and empowerment – that represent critical areas of policy and programming in need of robust evidence to improve inclusion and participation.
Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Interventions: An evidence and gap map of low and middle-income countries
Mental disorders affect about one in seven children and adolescents worldwide, with 50% arising before 14. Despite the high burden and early onset, most conditions remain unrecognised and untreated. At UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti, we developed an evidence and gap map that provides a visual overview of child and adolescent mental health and psychosocial support intervention research in low- and middle-income countries since 2010. This EGM, along with an overarching report and a research brief, will serve as a valuable resource for mental health and psychosocial support practitioners, advocates, fundraisers and researchers in driving much-needed action and investment in child and adolescent mental health.
Interventions for reducing violence against children: An evidence and gap map in low- and middle-income countries
Some form of violence affects more than 1 in 2 children in the world every year. This EGM provides an overview of the evidence available and identifies gaps in the evidence base on interventions to reduce violence against children in LMICs. Complementing the EGM are an overarching report, a brief summarizing the EGM, and seven policy briefs on each of INSPIRE’s pillars. These briefs present findings on the evidence to inform policymakers and practitioners about different policy strategies for ending violence against children, as well as informing researchers and funders about gaps in evidence that need investment.
Mega-Map on Child Well-being Interventions in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
This Mega-Map, or map of maps, co-produced with the Campbell Collaboration, provides an overview of the evidence on the effectiveness of child well-being interventions in low- and middle-income countries, as mapped against UNICEF’s Strategic Plan 2018-2021.
A series of briefs summarize the evidence in the Mega-Map against the five goal areas of UNICEF’s 2018–2021 Strategic Plan: Every child survives and thrives, Every child learns, Every child is protected from violence and exploitation, Every child lives in a safe and clean environment, and Every child has an equitable chance in life. A special evidence brief on COVID-19 is also available.
Evidence Gap Map on Adolescent Wellbeing
This EGM provides an overview of the existing evidence on the effectiveness of interventions on adolescent well-being, including protection, participation, financial and material well-being, and enabling environments for well-being.
Evidence Gap Map on Pandemics, Epidemics and Child Protection
A rapid review was conducted to inform UNICEF and other’s response to COVID-19. It looks at how pandemics and epidemics (like Ebola and HIV/AIDS) and their control measures (such as social distancing and school closures) impact child protection (such as child labour and violence against children). The accompanying EGM, created in partnership with EPPI-Centre, provides a visual representation of the evidence in the review.