“I finally understood what Systematic Reviews are about”

Posted on September 19, 2016  /  0 Comments

books-bookshelf-person-head-540wThat was what someone from the audience said to one of the presenters at the end of our Systematic Reviews presentation at CPRsouth 12 in Zanzibar, September 10, 2016.

Two years ago, at CPRsouth 2014 in Maropeng, LIRNEasia presented early results from ongoing Systematic Reviews (SRs) and presented ideas on how SR methodology could enhance the work of policy-oriented researchers. Two years later, the research is complete and we have disseminated the findings of all the projects. A special issue of Information Technology and International Development is forthcoming. As with all LIRNEasia projects, the dissemination will not end with the closing of the project.

This session shared insights on
• Communication of SR findings to policy audiences
• What the findings of the three studies were, and
• How to conduct SRs and how to use the techniques to improve research

The program was:
Have we made a difference with SRs? Rohan Samarajiva, Ph.D.
ICTs in the classroom: Can SRs lead to change inside the black box? Sujata Gamage, Ph.D.
Mobile financial services: The work and the output Goodiel Moshi, Ph.D.
ICTs and MSMEs: Better research or policy change? Vigneswara Illavarasan, Ph.D.
Are SRs providing useful answers or is the real issue how policy questions are framed? Panel discussion

On Systematic Reviews
Systematic reviews (SRs) include the essential components of search, screen, assess and synthesize that are found in literature reviews. But each component is executed with an extraordinary degree of rigor by teams and consume significant resources. The justification of spending significant amounts of time, money and effort on SRs is not to ensure that the dwarf climbs on the shoulders of the tallest giant. It is to ensure that the most robust research findings on a question of public policy are identified; that policy makers are provided with the best-possible knowledge stripped as much as possible of bias. This is what attracted LIRNEasia, a think tank that seeks to take the best-possible evidence to policy, to SRs almost five years ago.

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