The importance of equity in health, wellbeing and wealth is increasingly accepted globally, and has been identified as a priority for Cochrane. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to address global challenges including health inequalities and is therefore considered within all 17 SDGs. Creating a Cochrane Health Equity Thematic Group will strengthen Cochrane’s commitment in this area, helping us to improve the evidence base about interventions that may reduce health inequities. By addressing an issue that cuts across multiple research areas, a Thematic Group that focuses on equity, may encourage other Cochrane Groups and author teams to consider health equity in their work. This has the potential to inform practice and policy by reducing uncertainty around the effectiveness of interventions across different populations. In turn, this can have a distinguishable impact on reducing unfair and avoidable differences in health and health care globally.
The Cochrane Health Equity Thematic Group has its roots in the Equity Methods Group, a global team of researchers and other stakeholders who are interested and experienced in multi-stakeholder engagement in evidence synthesis. In forming the Thematic Group we aim to improve efficiency in producing Cochrane evidence by providing support to review authors, review groups, and the editorial team. The Equity Group has a large international network including members of the Campbell and Cochrane Equity Methods Group which consists of around 800 individuals, the Multi-Stakeholder Engagement Consortium with a further 100 individuals. Our leaders are connected with various organizations globally that can help us leverage funding from diverse funders – established and new. We see the transition from Methods Group to Thematic Groups as a natural one given our experience in conducting methodological research, producing methodological guidance, and provide training, support, and peer review for Cochrane, Campbell, and other systematic review authors.
|Peter Tugwell: University of Ottawa, Canada
|Vivian Welch: The Campbell Collaboration, Canada
|Jennifer Petkovic: University of Ottawa, Canada
|Gabriel Rada: Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and the Epistemonikos Foundation, Santiago, Chile
|Kevin Pottie: The University of Western Ontario, London, Canada
|Lawrence Mbuagbaw: McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada
|Tamara Lofti: McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada
Our aim is to raise the profile of health equity within Cochrane review to help improve the evidence base about interventions that may reduce health inequities.
Some of our immediate objectives are to:
- Promote equity in the health evidence-base
- Ensure equitable processes for stakeholder engagement
- Produce high-priority, equity-focused evidence syntheses
- Build capacity for equity design, analysis, and reporting
- Promote equity in implementation tools