PARTNER PROFILE

EPPI-Centre | United Kingdom

Develop methods for the systematic review and synthesis of research evidence and the study of the use research

Overview

Learn more about about the EPPI-Centre team and how PEERSS supports their work.

Team members

Meet the experts that make up the PEERSS team in the United Kingdom.

Research

See the most recent research and resources from the EPPI-Centre team.

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Partner team overview

EPPI-Centre logo

The EPPI-Centre works to develop methods for the systematic review and synthesis of research evidence and the study of the use research. Based in the Social Science Research Unit of the UCL Social Research Institute at University College London, the center is committed to informing policy and professional practice with sound evidence.

Some of the ways the EPPI-Centre does this include:

  • Developing methods for systematic reviews and research syntheses, conducting reviews, supporting others to undertake reviews, and providing guidance and training in this area.
  • Studying the use/non-use of research evidence in personal, practice and policy decision-making, supporting those who wish to find and use research to help solve problems, and providing guidance and training in this area.

EPPI-Centre’s work in research synthesis and use is applied in many areas of social policy, including education, health, social care, developing economies, sports, crime, and the environment.

    As a member of the PEERSS Synergy Support Team (SST), the EPPI Centre provides partner teams with support to strengthen their capacities in the evidence-informed policymaking space. Some examples of the type of support provided include helping develop a learning strategy that looks at the immediate, medium, and long-term learning interests and needs of the partnership, and helping teams explore different ways of embedding evidence use within their specific contexts.

    Since joining PEERSS in 2018, the EPPI Centre has contributed to the evidence-informed policymaking field by:

    Guiding PEERSS partners in identifying evidence addressing social policy in the areas of crime and justice, humanitarian aid, and agriculture and engineering for improving children’s nutrition.

    Mentoring PEERSS partners in strengthening systems to support evidence-informed decision-making.

    Supporting PEERSS partners in developing a toolkit that addresses stakeholder engagement with research and decision-making.

    Developing methods for tracking and characterizing the use of systematic reviews by government and NGOs.

    Systematically reviewing different methods for engaging stakeholders with evidence, and translating this work into practical tools.

    Partnering with the COVID-19 Evidence Network to support evidence-informed decision-making related to COVID-19.

    Meet the experts from the United Kingdom.

    Role:
    Partner Lead
    Areas of Expertise:
    Research methodology and public engagement, particularly:  Systematic reviews that generate, explore or test theory; Evidence maps; Rapid reviews; Shaping research questions and reviews in discussion with policy teams, practitioners and the wider public; Strengthening systematic review capacity; Producing reviews that inform decisions that change public services.
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Role:
    Doctoral student
    Areas of Expertise:
    Health economics and social policy analysis, particularly: Conducting rapid evidence reviews; Influencing government decisions in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa by discussing with them evidence-informed policy briefs or analyses of public services and their socio-economic context.
    Country:
    United Kingdom

    Publications, policy briefs and other resources from the EPPI-Centre

    PEERSS Site Icon

    Producing policy relevant systematic reviews: navigating the policy-research interface

    This study employed insider research and reflective practice to investigate exchanges across the research-policy interface to understand the practice of producing policy-relevant systematic reviews. Interviewees came from 11 systematic reviews or review programmes which spanned four models of policy-relevant reviews and between them provided evidence for understanding policy problems, comparing policy options, or implementing policy decisions. No review methodology was found to be uniquely appropriate for policy-relevant systematic reviews. It was the mutual engagement across the research-policy interface that made the reviews policy-relevant. This involved thinking about the issues and seeing them from multiple viewpoints to identify and shape questions; this prompted implicit or explicit value-driven debates. The intellectual work to shape a policy-relevant systematic review is an iterative, collective endeavour that requires partners from either side of the policy-research interface to engage with the unfamiliar, listen, challenge and co-construct questions and answers.
    Language

    English

    Year Published

    2018

    Type of Resource

    Systematic Review

    Policy-relevant systematic reviews to strengthen health systems: models and mechanisms to support their production

    Support for producing systematic reviews about health systems is less well developed than for those about clinical practice. From interviewing policy makers and systematic reviewers we identified institutional mechanisms which bring systematic reviews and policy priorities closer by harnessing organisational and individual motivations, emphasising engagement between policy and research, embedding efforts in conducive structures and supporting them with formalised procedures. Four models combine mechanisms appropriately to suit the initial degree of clarity and consensus of key issues underpinning the policy problem or research question, and whether the review is for a specific decision or widespread use. key words systematic reviews • policy-relevant • health systems
    Language

    English

    Year Published

    2016

    Type of Resource

    Systematic Review

    Clarifying differences between reviews within evidence ecosystems

    This paper builds on a 2012 paper by the same authors which argued that the types and brands of systematic review do not sufficiently differentiate between the many dimensions of different review questions and review methods (Gough et al., Syst Rev 1:28, 2012). The current paper extends this argument by considering the dynamic contexts, or ‘evidence ecosystems’, within which reviews are undertaken; the fact that these ecosystems are constantly changing; and the relevance of this broader context for understanding ‘dimensions of difference’ in the unfolding development and refinement of review methods.
    Language

    English

    Year Published

    2019

    Type of Resource

    Systematic Review

    Effective and efficient committee work: A Systematic overview of multidisciplinary literatures

    An era of financial constraints calls for effective and efficient committee work when making collective decisions. A systematic search identified research literatures in business administration, health research and service development, and social psychology addressing decision making about highly technical issues by mixed groups of people. Existing empirical and theoretical syntheses were drawn together to identify learning about the structure, processes and environment of committees and the characteristics of effective chairing. Committee performance depends upon the individuals involved, their attributes and relationships; and the time available for a committee to explore their knowledge to make choices or solve problems. In general, groups with six to twelve members tend to perform better than those in either smaller or larger groups, especially when relying on virtual communication. Diverse groups take account of a range of opinions and enhance credibility and widespread acceptance and implementation of decisions but may be more difficult to convene and manage appropriately. However, where chairs manage conflict constructively, more varied membership leads to better performance and more reliable judgements. These small-scale interactions reflect the larger scale institutional relationships, hierarchies and cultures which act as a backdrop to committee activities. These findings suggest that effective committee performance is enhanced by:...
    Language

    English

    Year Published

    2018

    Type of Resource

    Systematic Search

    Approaches to evidence synthesis in international development: a research agenda

    This article discusses the spectrum of synthesis methods available to generate, explore and text theory, their value to the field of international development and innovations required to make better use of the primary research available. It argues for clearer distinctions between syntheses produced as public goods and those tailored to specific circumstances, and strengthening knowledge systems through greater use of maps to navigate existing and missing evidence, harmonised outcomes and measures, and advances in automation technologies. Improved methods and guidance are required for synthesising formative research and investigating contextual factors. Engaging stakeholders and working across academic disciplines support the production of policy-relevant syntheses and inspire methods development.
    Language

    English

    Year Published

    2018

    Type of Resource

    Systematic Review

    Have a question about the research from the EPPI-Centre?

    Use the contact form below to submit a message to the PEERSS team or reach out via email.

    unitedkingdom@peerss.org

    EPPI Centre

    Sandy Oliver

    Veronica Osorio Calderon

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