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Sustaining working group


This working group examines how institutions and processes can be strengthened and sustained to enable evidence synthesis to most effectively serve its key role in the evidence ecosystem so that we are even better prepared for future pandemics and other challenges

Terms of reference

  1. Retrospectively study how well the systems and methods of the pre-existing evidence ecosystem responded to the ‘stress test’ presented by COVID-19 (how effective and efficient were these and how could these be developed and strengthened?)
  2. Prospectively study how the evidence synthesis community’s newly developed systems and methods (including COVID-END as a time-limited network) are being put in place and will contribute to the evidence ecosystem’s ability to respond to any future pandemics
  3. Propose ways to ‘mainstream’ and enable sustainability over time of emergent systems and methods within existing institutions and processes
  4. Use this opportunity of heightened public awareness to build a more fit-for-purpose evidence ecosystem
  5. Liaise with funders to explore how to best position COVID-END as a ‘case’ that demonstrates the value of a more joined-up, collaborative evidence ecosystem and what evidence they would find valuable to help make the case for investment


  1. David Gough, EPPI Centre, UK (co-chair)
  2. Elie Akl, Systematic Review Centre for Health Policy and Systems, AUB, Lebanon (co-chair)
  3. Amena El-Harakeh
  4. Denis Roy, Institut national d'excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSSS), Canada
  5. Heather Husson, McMaster University, Canada
  6. Ian Graham, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and University of Ottawa, Canada
  7. Kim Sutherland, Agency for Clinical Innovation, Australia
  8. Sylvia de Haan, Cochrane, Switzerland
  9. Tanja Kuchenmuller, World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe
  10. Secretariat: Heather Bullock and Safa Al-Khateeb, McMaster Health Forum | RISE, Canada, and Jeremy Grimshaw, Ottawa, Hospital Research Institute | RISE, Canada

Meeting documents

Meeting date Documents
 May 27, 2020
  1. Agenda
  2. Notes from previous meeting
  3. Notes
 May 20, 2020
  1. Agenda
  2. Notes from previous meeting
  3. Logic model
  4. Notes
 May 13, 2020
  1. Agenda
  2. Notes from previous meeting
  3. Notes
May 1, 2020 
  1. Agenda
  2. Notes

Glance at our guide to key COVID-19 evidence sources to stimulate your thinking about how we can sustain the efforts that strengthen institutions and processes ‘behind these sources’ so that we are even better prepared for future challenges.