Evidence Reviews and Communicating Evidence Quality (Defra)

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

Alice Milner - Organiser

Policy makers need reliable information in order to develop evidence-based policies. The volume of information generated on environment, food and rural issues is vast, making it difficult for policy-makers to efficiently integrate information for rational decision making. Methods are required that reduce information into manageable nuggets, separating insignificant, unsound or redundant information from the salient. Common methods of reviewing information (e.g. literature review and expert opinion) can be haphazard, are at higher risk of bias, and are less likely to detect all key information required for rational decision making. Methods that are made explicit and employ systematic processes minimise bias and improve reliability and accuracy of conclusions. At the very least, the use of explicit methods allows assessment of what was done and thus increases the ability to replicate and update results (prevents duplication), or increase understanding of how results and conclusions were reached (improves transparency).

There are several methods of reviewing evidence that are appropriate and available for Defra to use, but the majority of Defra staff are unaware of these approaches, or how they maximise the reliability and efficiency of the evidence base in comparison to commonly used approaches. The workshop provides an opportunity to discuss the available methods with evidence review experts. It is anticipated that the workshop will be a precursor to the development of Defra guidance on approved methods of reviewing evidence.

The objectives of the workshop were to:
• Improve understanding in Defra of the sources of bias affecting evidence reviews
• Raise awareness in Defra of methods available for reviewing evidence
• Establish the need and desired content of an evidence review guide for Defra use
5 Nov 2014

Evidence Reviews and Communicating Evidence Quality (Defra)

Duration5 Nov 2014 → …

Event: Other

ID: 24533396