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PhD Seminar on Systematic Reviews

13. September 2018 @ 09:00 - 16:15

What works and what doesn’t work in social and economic policy?

Systematic reviews have a long tradition in medicine and health sciences, and is now gaining popularity in social sciences and economics.  The aim of a systematic review is to provide a complete, exhaustive summary of current literature on a given topic – and thus establish evidence based advice’s for intervention.

This PhD Course is held by some of the worlds leading experts on systematic reviews. The course covers what a systematic review is, how to conduct a systematic review and how such reviews can be used to affect policy.


The seminar is open and free of charge for PhD students and post-doctoral researchers at UiB, CMI, NHH and HVL.

The course consist of a closed seminar for PhD and postdoctoral students, giving an introduction to systematic reviews, and the open session “Systematic reviews –
Better Policy Implementation?”.

Citations from University of Maryland are issued to participants at the course (attendance at both sessions required). Preregistration is needed, as there are limited spots at the course. Please contact: Daniel.Nygard@uib.no (Research coordinator)


Part 1: Systematic reviews – Better Policy Implementation? (09.00 – 12.15)

  • Welcome and Introductions
    Marit Skivenes, University of Bergen
    Douglas Besharov, University of Maryland
    Neil Gilbert, UC Berkeley
  • What are Campbell Collaboration systematic reviews? How are they used?
    Howard White, Campbell Collaboration
  • Other systematic (and non-systematic) literature reviews for policy and planning
    Jacob Klerman, Abt Associates
  • Adding a formal policy analysis
    Martin Potucek, Charles University
  • Establishing National and Regional Centers for Systematic Reviews
    Howard White, Campbell Collaboration
  • Personnel, Funding, Auspice and Structure

Part 2: Introduction seminar to Systematic Review (13.15 – 16.15)

  • Developing a Protocol
    Howard White, Campbell Collaboration

    • Selecting a topic and deciding its scope
    • Search strategy, including software and data bases
    • Inclusion/exclusion criteria, including methodologies
    • Quality assessments
    • Data extraction
    • Evidence gap maps
  • Synthesis
    Jacob Klerman, Abt Associates

    • Qualitative
    • When appropriate
    • Order for presenting findings (thematically, chronologically, etc.)
    • Degree of study quality assessment
    • Quantitative (Meta-analysis)
    • When appropriate
    • Dealing with heterogeneity (fixed vs random effects)
    • Meta-regressions
  • Discussion/Analysis
    Douglas Call, University of Maryland

    • How the findings fit within the program context (e.g., program theory, program design, implementation, and the possibly changing counterfactual)
    • Generalizability to other contexts
    • Implications for policy
  • Publication
    Howard White, Campbell Collaboration
    Jacob Klerman, Abt Associates

    • The Campbell process
    • Journal publication


Main organizers

Centre for Research on Discretion and Paternalism (UiB)

University of Maryland, School of Public Policy

Collaborating partners

UC Berkeley Social Welfare

Bergen Resource Centre

International Network for Social Policy Teaching and Research


13. September 2018
09:00 - 16:15
Event Category:


Centre for Research on Discretion and Paternalism


Jekteviksbakken 31
Jekteviksbakken 31
Bergen, Hordaland 5006 Norway
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