Methodological Briefs on Evidence Synthesis. Brief 3
Publication date: 2020-03
Innocenti Research Briefs
No. of pages: 14
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This series of eight briefs, produced by the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti, is intended to provide guidance on how to undertake, commission and manage evidence synthesis products such as systematic reviews, rapid evidence assessments and evidence gap maps. Evidence synthesis can play an important role in UNICEF’s knowledge management and evidence translation efforts by collating knowledge from multiple studies on what interventions work, and why and how they work. It makes research more accessible and therefore can contribute to evidence-informed programming and policy decisions. The primary audience for these briefs is professionals, including UNICEF staff, who conduct, commission or interpret research and evaluation findings in development contexts to make decisions about policy, programming and advocacy.
This brief covers the development and design stages of producing an evidence synthesis product (including the activities that contribute to drafting and refining the research question and scope), how externally contracted research teams are engaged in these stages, the type of consultation and feedback that should occur during these stages, and the development of inclusion criteria and a search strategy. All of these activities lead to the development and publication of a research protocol, which helps to ensure that all important decisions are made in advance and helps to avoid the introduction of bias.