skip to main content

Our network of sites

Scoping working group


This working group identifies where support and coordination is most needed and what principles should underpin such support and coordination.

Terms of reference

  1. Confirm the name for the initiative [completed – see below]
    1. COVID-19 Evidence Network for supporting Decision-making (COVID-END)
  2. Describe the focus of the initiative [completed – see below]
    1. Evidence synthesis (and within syntheses, including those addressing any type of questions and those using any type of quantitative, qualitative and mixed-methods reviews, as well as evidence maps, rapid reviews, and scoping reviews), as well as technology assessments and guidelines informed by such evidence syntheses (all regardless of publication status)
      1. Not primary studies (including modeling studies) except as an input to evidence syntheses (and reciprocally with other working groups taking up the challenge of encouraging researchers, including modelers, to include data from evidence synthesis in their primary research or models)
    2. Human studies
      1. Not animal studies, although we will maintain a connection to leading groups in this domain (e.g., CAMARADES)
    3. All types of decisions (public-health measures, clinical management, health-system arrangements, and economic and social responses
    4. COVID-focused evidence and COVID-relevant evidence (e.g., evidence addressing a topic like task shifting that is highly relevant to COVID but where the studies were not conducted in the context of COVID), with the latter also positioning the evidence synthesis and related communities to respond to any future pandemics that arise
  3. Draft principles that underpin the work of the initiative [completed – see below]
    1. Support (not compete with or replace) well-positioned regional, national and sub-national organizations that are working in close partnership with key target audiences and already responding to their evidence needs
    2. Support – with a common brand/identity, small agile secretariat, and simple working group structure – a distributed network of organizations and individuals to play to their comparative advantages and avoid unnecessary duplication within and across all elements of the evidence supply and demand chains
    3. Seek out quick wins for those supporting decision-makers and among those involved in preparing evidence syntheses, and taking measured steps to longer-term solutions that can better support decision-makers
    4. Strengthen existing institutions (e.g., Campbell and Cochrane) and processes (e.g., protocol registration in PROSPERO) and contributing to their long-term sustainability
    5. Address a diversity of regional and linguistic needs among decision-makers and those who support them
    6. Ensure diversity, equity and inclusion in the leadership of the initiative and its working groups (e.g., achieving a balance of co-chairs by gender and from high-income countries and from low- and middle-income countries)
    7. Commit to related principles articulated by others
      1. Principles of high quality evidence synthesis as articled by Evidence Synthesis International
      2. Principles of open access to of all data, methods, processes, code, software, publications, education and peer review produced through the initiative (in keeping with ‘open synthesis’ principles
  4. Confirm relationship between the initiative and other related initiatives, such as Evidence Synthesis International and Global Evidence Synthesis Initiative [completed]
  5. Describe the difference parts of the evidence ecosystem (on both demand and supply sides), gathering information about who’s working in each, and then combining this information to identify and capture efficiencies
  6. Collaborate with other working groups to identify the human and financial needs to support the work, ways ‘re-program’ existing budgets where possible, and contribute to collective efforts to pursue opportunities for additional funding where appropriate


  1. Jeremy Grimshaw, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute | RISE and COVID-END Secretariat, Canada (chair)
  2. Birte Snilsveit, 3IE, UK
  3. Charles Wiysonge, South African Medical Research Council, South Africa
  4. David Gough, EPPI Centre, UK
  5. David Tovey, COVID-END Secretariat
  6. Declan Devane, Cochrane Ireland, Ireland
  7. Gabriel Rada, Epistemonikos, Chile
  8. Patrick Okwen Mbah, eBASE, Cameroon
  9. Trish Greenhalgh, University of Oxford, UK
  10. Ruth Stewart, Africa Centre for Evidence, South Africa
  11. Secretariat: Safa Al-Khateeb, McMaster Health Forum | RISE and COVID-END Secretariat, Canada

Meeting documents

Meeting date Documents
November 30, 2020
  1. Agenda
  2. Notes
November 2, 2020
  1. Agenda
  2. Notes
September 28, 2020
  1. Agenda
  2. Citizens engagement strategy
  3. Notes
September 14, 2020
  1. Agenda
  2. Logic model
  3. Notes
July 20, 2020
  1. Agenda
  2. Notes
July 6, 2020
  1. Agenda
  2. Notes
June 22, 2020
  1. Agenda
  2. Next generation
  3. Notes
June 8, 2020
  1. Agenda
  2. LMIC paper outline
  3. Notes
June 1, 2020
  1. Agenda
  2. LMIC challenges
  3. Notes
 May 18, 2020
  1. Agenda
  2. Notes
  3. Logic model
 May 1, 2020
  1. Agenda
  2. Notes
April 21, 2020
  1. Notes
  2. MAGICapp COVID-19 global evidence ecosystem
  3. COVID-19 global evidence ecosystem

Use the interactive flow diagram to find resources for researchers considering and conducting COVID-19 evidence syntheses.