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Around the world in three meals!

By Nicola Randall , CEE trainer & Director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Agriculture at Harper Adams University

The wide variety of food we encountered in Bonn – and don’t forget the Haribos!

This year sees more CEE evidence synthesis training for the Green Climate Fund and partners and the fantastic welcome that the CEE team received in Seoul in November last year has so far been matched in 2019…

The year began with a training course for  the German Institute for Development Evaluation DEval in Bonn, Germany, although at times it was easy to forget where we were. From an excellent Italian meal in the hotel, to Afghan buffet lunches and a Korean restaurant, the two day training course felt like a global culinary trip!

Jacqui Eales and I were the trainers on this course, and Kevin Moull from DEval organised everything we needed on behalf of our hosts.  From the start, the thirteen participants on the course were enthusiastic and engaged, completely immersing themselves in the activities. Some were just beginning to plan systematic maps or reviews, so the course was a timely introduction. Others were already involved in evidence syntheses (sometimes very complex ones) so used the exercises to inform their own reviews and protocols.

In contrast to the GCF review work, which mainly focuses on natural science reviews, most of the review work carried out by DEval staff is development-based and an addition to the CEE training was a guest appearance from Howard White. Howard discussed some of his work with the Campbell Collaboration on evidence gap maps, and it was really interesting to see the similarities and differences between the evidence gap maps used by Howard and our CEE systematic maps.

We wish all the participants the very best of luck with their future evidence syntheses, and look forward to seeing some of the outputs in the future.

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How to crash a party in Korea…

Jacqui Eales, CEE trainer and Research Fellow, ECEHH, University of Exeter, UK

Festive happenings in Songdo, Seoul

A cold and late November night found Ruth Garside and I dancing the night away at the Green Climate Fund‘s End of Year Party in Seoul… a great and unexpected end to a two-day training workshop that saw the GCF’s Independent Evaluation Unit become versed in the nuances of CEE Evidence Synthesis.

After experiencing a rather unwelcome climate change of our own (moving from 34°C Philippines to a 6°C South Korea), we touched down to a warm welcome from our hosts, Andreas Reumann and Jyotsna (Jo) Puri from the GCF.

The Green Climate Fund’s Independent Evaluation Unit with Jacqui Eales, right. Jo Puri, Head of Unit is seated next to Jacqui.

As Head of the Unit, Jo has brought together a dedicated, energetic and focused team- a perfect combination for Evidence Synthesis! Ruth and I were struck by the good humour and positivity of the team, who were keen to start implementing Evidence Synthesis methods in their upcoming evaluation work for the Unit. Our Seoul workshop kicked off a series of CEE trainings to support the GCF’s performance reviews and understanding “what works” for climate-related interventions.

CEE training in full flow


And, just as the metaphorical sun had broken through clouds of hazy understanding for our GCF colleagues, after four grey Seoul days, we were treated to clear skies. A trip to Bukhansan National Park outside Seoul topped off a productive week for the CEE Trainers.

Thanks GCF, for your hospitality (and party invite) and see you for the next CEE training workshop in Bonn!

Traditional Korean house (Hanok) in Bukhansan National Park
View from the highest peak of Bukhansan

Happenings at the UK CEE centre

The Global Environment Facility, based in Washington DC was the venue for CEE training in 2019.

Since things have been quiet on the news front, here’s an update on what has been going on over the last 18 months….

The UK Centre has continued to host the Editorial Office for CEE’s Journal, Environmental Evidence, as well as hosting the Editorial Team for the CEEDER Evidence Service. The latter went live to users in 2019 and is accessible through the CEE website and here.

Environmental Evidence Journal editorial office is hosted by the UK CEE Centre.

Members of the Centre represent CEE on the Governing Boards of Evidence Synthesis International, and the Global Evidence Synthesis Initiative as well as Chairing the Advisory Group for the NERC-funded Environmental Evidence for the Future Programme.

The UK Centre was awarded an Impact Acceleration Grant by the ESRC to initiate co-production of CEEDER with Natural Resources Wales as a user organisation. We delivered CEE training to the UN’s Green Climate Fund (S Korea & Germany) and the World Bank’s Global Environment Facility (USA) during 2019 & 2020  (more details on the UK Centre blog)

We also delivered a CEE short course on systematic reviews and maps to members of the GCRF-funded Blue Communities programme from Indonesia and Malaysia in February 2020.

We represented CEE and delivered keynote and training on Qualitative Evidence Synthesis at “Using Qualitative Evidence to support decision making in the SDG-era: New Frontiers and Innovations” in Brazil in October 2019, and were also part of the CEE presence at the What Works Global Summit in Mexico City. Ruth Garside (CEE UK Centre based at the University of Exeter) is leading a Working Group developing joint Guidance on Qualitative Evidence Synthesis methods for Campbell and CEE.

Its been a busy 18 months!