The Collaboration for Environmental Evidence, Johannesburg (CEEJ) centre has been lucky enough to attend to evidence conferences in 2018. The first was the annual Collaboration for Environmental Evidence conference, hosted this year by the French centre, the Foundation for Research on Biodiversity in Paris from 16-20 April. The conference – entitled ‘From knowledge to action: synthesising environmental evidence to inform decisions’ – was focussed specifically on evidence synthesis in the environmental sector. The CEEJ team delivered three presentations. The first was on findings of an evidence map produced in collaboration with colleagues at the Africa Centre for Evidence on ecosystem services for poverty alleviation, while the second presentation focussed on the role of qualitative evidence synthesis in the environmental sector. The final input from the CEEJ team was to co-host a session with Dr Alexandra Collins based at the Imperial College London on rapid response services. Here, the team shared our experience of piloting a responsive evidence synthesis with decision-makers in South Africa. We also detailed here our plans in developing this offering into a full service for the Department for Environmental Affairs in South Africa.
The second conference the CEEJ team has attended this year is Evidence 2018. Much broader in its sectorial and subject focus, CEEJ again presented our learning from doing a pilot rapid response for provincial decision-makers in South Africa, as well as some findings from the scoping review done by our first 2018 intern, Steven Chen of McMaster University. We expanded on the progress made against our plan to co-develop our experience into a full responsive evidence synthesis service. It was also here at Evidence 2018 where CEEJ networked with others interested in environmental evidence by inviting colleagues from across Africa attending the conference to submit their details to be added to our growing database of experts. We’re still looking to collaborate and grow our database of those interested in environmental evidence in Africa so if you haven’t yet done so, sign up to our database here!
We look forward to sharing our journey as we continue down this road: who knows where the CEEJ team will be in 2019, and what we’ll be presenting on then? Stay in touch to find out!