Evidence Aid Conference 2012

29 – 30 October 2012, Brussels, Belgium

Watch the recording of Herman Von Rompuy – President of the European Council, welcoming the 2nd Evidence Aid conference

Photos from the Evidence Aid Conference 2012:

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View the conference agenda [PDF].

See speaker bios and photographs.

PDF files of all the speaker presentations and posters at the bottom of this page.

The 1st Evidence Aid Conference in Oxford, England in September 2011, brought together more than 70 participants from a range of organizations and interests including United Nations aid agencies (UNHCR, Unicef and WHO), government organizations (US Center for Diseases Control and Prevention and UK Department for International Development), international NGOs (Oxfam and Save the Children), the Red Cross (International Committee for the Red Cross and Belgian Red Cross), publishers (Wiley-Blackwell, The Lancet, Public Library of Science (PLoS) and Research4Life) and academic institutions (Columbia University, Trinity College Dublin, and University of Oxford).

Building on the success of that conference, the 2nd Evidence Aid Conference was hosted by the Belgian Red Cross in the Novotel Airport Hotel, Brussels, Belgium on 29-30 October 2012, with a particular focus on disaster aid. Dr Philippe Vandekerckhove, CEO of the Belgian Red Cross, said:

“The Belgian Red Cross has made it a strategic priority to underpin all its activities with evidence, both its blood service and its humanitarian activities. We are therefore delighted to host this milestone Evidence Aid conference in Brussels”.

On the first day, speakers from different aid organizations highlighted the topics which, according to their field experience, are most urgently in need of policy advice through evidence-based research and practice.

The second day zoomed in on the methods to provide this evidence. The challenge of balancing the need for gold standard evidence with the difficulties of achieving this in disaster settings was be tackled, along with the need to avoid abuse or devaluing of the ‘evidence based’ label.

The international expertise assembled for the conference included intense workshops which discussed these issues. They formulated a workable compromise between rigor and feasibility, and produced clear definitions for the use of the term and strategies for providing the evidence needed by decision makers.

The Evidence Aid conference was videoed live and can be watched, post-conference, via the webpage: http://rdk.rs/evidence-aid-live-stream.

The Twitter (@EvidenceAid) hashtag (#) #evaidconf2012 was used for messages related to the conference.

Speaker presentations

Dr Satya Paul Agarwal – Priority setting: The viewpoint of the Red Cross.

Dr Amine Dahmane – Priority setting: The viewpoint of MSF.

Dr Roger Van Hoof – Priority setting: The viewpoint of military medicine.

Dr Bonnix Kayabu – What aid workers think of systematic reviews. The results from the Evidence Aid needs assessment.

Dr Prathap Thayran – Using systematic review findings to ensure good practice after the Indian Ocean tsunami.

Prof. Dr Philippe Vandekerckhove – Evidence-based first aid: Experience of the Belgian Red-Cross Flanders.

Dr Johan von Schreeb – Using evidence to improve the work of foreign field hospitals in sudden onset disasters.

Prof. Dr Michel Debacker – Data reporting in disasters / prioritisation of research questions.

Dr Paul Spiegel – How to undertake monitoring and evaluation in WASH and shelter in emergencies when there are insufficient measurable standards.

Dr Chris Lewis – Prioritisation and challenges of research into humanitarian health: a donor perspective.

Poster presentations

The importance of involving the target

population in guideline development: experiences from the development of evidence-based African prevention guidelines (presenter: Emmy De Buck).

Evidence-based African first aid guidelines and training materials (presenter: Emmy De Buck)

Evidence-based guidelines versus systematic reviews: The application of evidence-based practice in an aid organisation (presenter: Nele Pauwels).

Systematic reviews in international development – closing the gap between evidence and policy (presenter: Shari Krishnaratne).

Systematic review gapmaps – What? (presenter: Shari Krishnaratne).

Evidence-based disaster and emergency management – a shift in paradigm, philosophy and culture (presenter: Racquel Simpson).

Electric fans for reducing adverse health impacts in heatwaves (presenter: Katie Carmichael).

A rapid review process for Evidence Aid: Electric fans for reducing adverse health impacts in heatwaves (presenter: Claire Allen).


Back to work report by Shari Krishnaratne (3ie).

22 January 2014: Brief Report – Second Evidence Aid Conference: Prioritizing Evidence in Disaster Aid. Published in Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, volume 7, issue 06, pp. 593-596. Read the article here

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