Evidence Aid and the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine launch their partnership, 27 October, Oxford, UK

CEBM partnership

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Evidence Aid, an international charity based in Oxford, and the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine (CEBM) at the University of Oxford, are formally launching their partnership at Rewley House, Oxford, on Thursday 27th October from 5.00pm.  Professor Mukesh Kapila* CBE, Professor of Global Health and Humanitarian Affairs at the University of Manchester will be the keynote speaker. Professor Mukesh Kapila recently drew international attention at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, when he declared that “effectiveness is a moral issue and a duty” this summer. He will be addressing the moral dimension to evidence-based humanitarianism.

More than $24 billion (USD) are spent annually on International Humanitarian aid.  Since Evidence Aid was established in December 2004, nearly 1.6 billion people have been affected by disasters globally, with the estimated total cost of damages totalling over $1.3 trillion (USD). Despite this real and pressing need, robust evidence of the effects of interventions in humanitarian response is hard to find, yet recognition of the need for evidence-based decision-making is increasing. The sector is increasingly seeking to improve effectiveness and ‘value for money’ and recognises that it needs to know what works and what doesn’t in order to do so. There is a need for more evidence and a more evidence-based approach to humanitarian action. Those who wish to pursue this are faced by information in tens of thousands of reports spread across thousands of journals, books and websites with a wide range of methodologies and sometimes conflicting information. They need better access to high-quality collections of the evidence, highlighting its relevance to them.

Jeroen Jansen,* Director of Evidence Aid, said: “Within the humanitarian sector many talk about an evidence-based approach, but too often this seems relegated to the background and appears to be mostly an afterthought within wordy presentations of lofty commitments.”

Dr Kamal R. Mahtani,* a GP and the Deputy Director at CEBM added: “Evidence Aid and CEBM are already collaborating on joint research projects. This is now an exciting opportunity to continue building on this partnership, providing much needed training internationally, bringing humanitarians and academics together and using social media to communicate the value of generating and using evidence in the humanitarian sector”.

The evening will be chaired by Evidence Aid founding Trustee and Treasurer, Lady Deborah Dixon* and the panel will include: Professor Mike Clarke* of Queen’s University Belfast and founder of Evidence Aid, Jeroen Jansen, and Dr Kamal R. Mahtani.

Invited Guests are being drawn from Humanitarian Agencies and supporting organisations, which will include academia, NGOs, INGOs, government, publishing companies, as examples, together with Oxford students on related modules.

Light refreshments will be served from 5.00pm with official proceedings 5.30-6.30pm, drinks/canapés thereafter, concluding approximately 7.15pm.

All are welcome but places are limited. Tickets (required) for the event can be booked here.

For further information, contact: Jane Higgins, Office Administrator Evidence Aid, jhiggins@evidenceaid.org

Professor Professor Carl Heneghan, Director Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, University of Oxford has written a blog about the partnership which can be found here.

Evidence Aid, which grew out of the work done by members of Cochrane following the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, aims to inspire and enable those guiding the humanitarian sector to apply a more evidence-based approach in their activities and decisions. Evidence Aid strongly believes that those in need should receive humanitarian aid in the most timely, effective and appropriate way possible. Aside from advocating a more evidence-based approach to humanitarian action, Evidence Aid provides consultancy, training and aids the dissemination of evidence through its website by providing free access to systematic reviews and collections of evidence on specific topics (e.g. Health of Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Europe). Evidence Aid became a registered charitable incorporated organisation in August 2015 (charity number 1163111).

The Centre for Evidence Based Medicine (CEBM) which has provided vital support in the development of Evidence Aid, aims to develop, teach and promote evidence-based health care through conferences, workshops and EBM tools so that all health care professionals in the UK and internationally can maintain the highest standards of medicine. The CEBM is part of Oxford University’s Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences. www.cebm.net

Professor Mike Clarke is one of the founders of Evidence Aid, helping to establish this initiative in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004. He is Director of the All-Ireland Hub for Trials Methodology Research at the Centre for Public Health in Queen’s University Belfast, taking up this new post in March 2011 after eight years as the Director of the UK Cochrane Centre. He has worked on several large randomized trials and dozens of systematic reviews in a wide range of areas, and has a strong interest in increasing capacity for the conduct and use of systematic reviews.

Lady Deborah Dixon was Vice President, Global Publishing Director, Health Sciences, at John Wiley & Sons, before establishing Dixon Consulting Services and then becoming Global Editorial Director, Medicine and Science Journals for Oxford University Press. Deborah was one of the founding trustees of Evidence Aid.

Jeroen Jansen , Director of Evidence Aid. Jeroen has been engaged in a wide variety of sectors, issues and working environments. He worked for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Afghanistan, Liberia, Darfur and several other contexts. He has been successfully employed in the private sector, managing the deployment of humanitarian aid and working as a head of department for MSF in the UK. Although he started as an engineer, he later obtained a Masters in International Human Rights Law and worked for Marie Stopes International. This wide variety of experience has exposed him to different actors and developed his ability to bridge divides between cultures, industries and topics.

Mukesh Kapila, CBE is Professor of Global Health and Humanitarian Affairs at the University of Manchester. He is also Chair of Nonviolent Peaceforce, Chair of Manchester Global Foundation, Adjunct Professor at the International Centre for Humanitarian Affairs Nairobi, Associate Fellow of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, Special Representative of the Aegis Trust for the prevention of crimes against humanity, and Special Adviser to Syria Relief. He was Special Adviser to the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul in May 2016. His memoir “Against a Tide of Evil”, published in 2013, was nominated for the Best Nonfiction Book of that year. He is the curator of a popular blog series Flesh and Blood.

Dr Kamal R. Mahtani BSc PhD MBBS PGDip MR, is the Deputy Director at the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine and a Fellow of the Kellogg College, whilst still being an NHS GP at a busy medical centre in East Oxford.

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