Evidence Aid Consulting

Nearly 25 billion US dollars was spent on international humanitarian aid in 2014[1], but ensuring that this achieves the maximum benefits for the prevention and alleviation of human suffering is not easy.  Evidence Aid aims to improve the impact of humanitarian aid by stimulating the use of an evidence-based approach.  Since it was established in December 2004, 1.6 billion people have been affected by disasters globally, with the estimated total cost of damages totalling over US$1.3 trillion.  Despite this real and pressing need, robust evidence relevant to humanitarian response is hard to find and under used, but recognition of the need for evidence-based decision-making is increasing.  Those who wish to use an evidence-based approach face significant hurdles, such as gaps in knowledge, challenges when trying to apply robust methodologies, lack of coordination and difficult access to quality information that is scattered over tens of thousands of reports spread across thousands of journals, books and websites; many of which are not free to use.

“This is no longer acceptable. The sector must increase its efforts to demonstrate impact, and it must use evidence on what works and what does not and why to improve its performance.” [2]

Evidence Aid is able to help organisations overcome these hurdles and to enable them to apply a more evidence-based approach to their decisions and actions in the humanitarian and disaster risk reduction (DRR) sectors.

Evidence Aid Consulting capitalises on our extensive and diverse network, allowing us to offer the client access to a pool of experts able to address a wide variety of challenges related to the production, use and dissemination of evidence and the implementation of an evidence-based approach. We operate from the premises of one of our partners; the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine (CEBM), Department of Primary Health Care Sciences at the University of Oxford and our desk at the Cochrane office in London. From here, we devote a large proportion of our time to capacity building, advocacy, training activities and improving access to relevant high quality evidence through the creation of topical collections. Evidence Aid Consulting can deliver training to help humanitarians understand the different levels of evidence, how evidence should inform policy and practice, and the values of evidence synthesis. In turn, this can help develop international guidelines and standards, facilitate research and implement and evaluate interventions for a variety of humanitarian settings. Added to this is our ability to provide world-renowned training in all aspects of evidence-based decision making and access to a significant cohort of lecturers in collaboration with our partners.

Evidence Aid Consulting works closely with the CEBM to deliver bespoke high quality problem-oriented learner centred workshops in the field of evidence-based healthcare in humanitarian settings, and can facilitate systematic reviews where a gap has been identified. In collaboration with our partners, we can provide custom-made solutions to the hurdles you experience when implementing an evidence-based approach to humanitarian action. Due to our broad skill set and ability to supplement this with relevant experts, we are able to offer a range of courses and services and are happy to discuss bespoke courses or services tailored to particular audiences or organisations. If you would like any further information, please contact:

Claire Allen, Operations Manager callen@evidenceaid.org

or

Jane Higgins, Office Administrator jhiggins@evidenceaid.org

Evidence Aid Consulting courses and services:

  • Introduction to evidence-based actions and systematic reviews Attendees learn how to formulate an answerable question, track down, appraise and apply the best evidence, and evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of their actions.
  • Developing evidence-based guidelines We recognise how organisations such as the World Health Organization and Sphere produce guidelines for the humanitarian sector, and can provide learners with step-by-step training in this process.
  • Knowledge into action This course facilitates the understanding of how to use research evidence to make on the ground decisions, improve health outcomes and inform policy.
  • Communicating risk and shared decision making Explores the mechanisms for communicating risk to policy makers and the public, and the role of shared decision making, alongside the practice of evidence-based decision making.
  • Teaching evidence-based decision making This course is designed for those with existing knowledge of evidence-based decision making who wish to disseminate that understanding to others through teaching. Evaluating healthcare and public health Interventions Quality improvement projects require a robust approach to evaluation, combining qualitative and quantitative methods. This course is suitable for those who are considering using to evaluations to strengthen their evidence-based decision making.
  • Research methods and systematic reviews in the humanitarian and crisis setting We offer a wide range of training in research methods, with particular expertise in randomised trials and systematic reviews, and a focus on evidence for humanitarian actions.
  • High quality collections of evidence We are able to create high quality evidence collections relevant to specific topics for the humanitarian sector. These can be made freely available and promoted via our website, and highlighted throughout our extensive network and social media channel.
  • Advocates for evidence Presentations on issues related to the production, use and dissemination of evidence in the humanitarian and DRR sectors, with a specific focus on health outcomes.
  • Advice and support for evidence-based actions We can help organisations make better use of evidence in their policy and practices, and provide expert assistance with the design, implementation and interpretation of evaluations of humanitarian aid.
  • Systematic reviews We are able to assist with the preparation and maintenance of systematic reviews, providing services that range from the provision of advice to the conduct and dissemination of the review.

[1] Global Humanitarian Assistance Report 2014, Development Initiatives: http://www.globalhumanitarianassistance.org/report/gha-report-2015

[2] Humanitarian Emergency Response Review, Chaired by Lord (Paddy) Ashdown, page 28, March 2011.