Reflection on Protocol Review Workshops

The Centre for Evaluation supports evaluation grant proposals and the design and conduct of evaluation projects by organising workshops where researchers could present their work and receive feedback.

 

Among many, the Centre held a protocol workshop for Prof Bayard Roberts to discuss best methods that could be employed to achieve the aims of the STRENGTHS project.

Prof Bayard Roberts reflected on his experience with us saying:

“I presented at a protocol workshop organised by the Centre for Evaluation. The presentation was on a large EU-funded project evaluating mental health interventions for Syrian refugees in eight countries, and I was focusing on a project work package I’m leading on health systems responsiveness to the mental health needs of Syrian refugees and the potential for scaling-up the mental health intervention for them. The workshop took place fairly soon after the start of the project, and frankly speaking, the work package needed a lot more development. The protocol workshop provided a really timely and useful opportunity to highlight and discuss key questions and issues that were concerning us, and seek feedback from those attending the workshop (who included a number of senior experts in evaluation). This feedback was incredibly useful for refining our approaches and methods and bringing new perspectives and ideas to our work.

 

As another example, the Centre also held two protocol review workshops to discuss the analysis plans of the SAMATA and SAMVEDANA PLUS trials with Tara Beatie and Lucy Platt, who are leading the LSHTM support for these projects.

Dr Lucy Platt reflected on her experience with us saying:

“I recently presented our study protocol and final analysis plan at a Centre For Evaluation Protocol Review Workshop.  Our study is an evaluation of an intervention to reduce domestic violence among female sex workers in India using a cluster randomised control trial. The research is being conducted by a team in the Karnataka Health Promotion Trust (KHPT), an NGO based in Bangalore, Karnataka, and the intervention is being delivered in Balgakot district in Karnataka state. It covers a huge geographic area and the intervention is complex, working with individuals and communities. During our last trip to Bangalore we reviewed our protocol and drew up an analysis plan with KHPT colleagues.  Getting feedback on the protocol and analysis plan was an incredibly useful process.  The workshop was attended by colleagues at LSHTM, all of whom have considerable experience of analysing trials including trials of social interventions. The seminar was really well organised, so it was no problem to set up for us. It was well  publicised and well-attended.  It could have been an intimidating experience but the comments given, although sometime critical, were always constructive and the atmosphere was supportive. I would advise anyone embarking on a trial for the first time to take part in the workshop.”

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