Training: Evaluating complex humanitarian interventions – utilising evidence-based approaches (Oxford, UK, 22-23 November 2018)

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Title: Training course: Evaluating complex humanitarian interventions – utilising evidence-based approaches

Date: 22-23 November 2018

Location: Central Oxford, UK

Cost: £450/person to include all course materials, lunch and refreshments

Course Outline: Humanitarian interventions are invariably complex and this course will aim to teach how to utilise evidence-based approaches to evaluate them. Through 8 sessions (see details below), the course, run by Professor Paul Montgomery, will equip participants with up-to-date research and best practices in evaluation skills and how these can be applied to the humanitarian and non-profit sectors. This includes covering aspects on question formulation, use of systematic reviewing, study designs (including randomised controlled trials), implementation and how to develop theories of change. Given the nature of most humanitarian interventions, it is challenging to establish with certainty what interventions ‘work’ and how to optimise existing practices. This course will teach participants how to work with ‘complexity’ and what aspects to consider when developing or appraising humanitarian interventions.

Session 1 will introduce the concept of evidence-based practice and systematic reviewing with a focus on interventions in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Session 2 will address how to conduct and evaluate evaluations with high quality studies. Session 3 will cover and discuss the practical and ethical issues of evaluating different types of humanitarian interventions. Session 4 will elaborate on what tools and practices can be applied to measure the impact of interventions in complex settings- a focus on ‘how-to’ . Session 5 and 6 will discuss the concept of ‘complexity’ and demonstrate how complex interventions can be meaningfully investigated by developing ‘theories of change’. In session 7, the issue of implementation and context will be addressed with a focus on how to balance programme fidelity with local adaptation. Last, session 8 will elaborate on different types of trial (e.g. realist, pragmatic) and cover alternative methods.

Background: Professor Montgomery works in the methods and conduct of rigorous evaluations of effects of a wide variety of interventions, actions and strategies. He is Professor of Social Intervention at the University of Birmingham as well as an Editor for the Cochrane Collaboration. He also teaches reviewing and evaluation skills for policy and practice not only in the UK but across the world. Over the last 20 years, Paul has become a leading figure in the area of complex interventions and has published a large number of trials and studies of different designs both in lower- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and in the global north. Currently, Paul is also a member of the Cross Whitehall Trials Panel for the UK Cabinet Office which seeks to deliver best quality evidence for policymakers.

Please note that the number of spaces on this course is limited for this course, and places will be allocated on a first come first serve basis once payment has been received. We will also hold a wait list, should the course become full.

To apply: Please contact Claire Allen (

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