New guidance on using qualitative evidence synthesis for guidelines (3)

12 August, 2019

Hi Neil

We are very excited about this series of papers, and it reflects growing interest globally in how different types of qualitative evidence can be used to inform decisions within the health sector, and also in other sectors. It would be good to hear from HIFA members about how they are using qualitative evidence in their settings, and the extent to which decision makers are demanding this kind of evidence.

As many of you know, the first Symposium on using qualitative evidence to inform decision for the SDGs will be held in Brasilia from 8-11 October 2019, hosted by the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) – see . This gathering will provide an important opportunity to share experiences and take forward thinking in this area. Abstract submissions are closed, but open registration will begin later this week from the website above and we hope that many people will travel to Brasilia for this event.

We realise that a large number of people interested in the Symposium themes may not be able to get to Brasilia. We are therefore organising a virtual Symposium which will allow many people from across the world to participate in and contribute to the important discussions in Brasilia. The virtual Symposium is free and will include live webcasts of key Symposium sessions and opportunities to participate in training. Anyone who is interested in this area can register for the Virtual Symposium here:

Best wishes


Simon Lewin

Senior Researcher

Global Health Unit | Centre for Informed Health Choices | Cochrane EPOC Group | Cochrane Norway

Norwegian Institute of Public Health

Health Systems Research Unit, South African Medical Research Council, Cape Town, South Africa

Postal address: PO Box 222 Skøyen, 0213 Oslo, Norway

Visiting address: Building D11, Myren, Oslo, Norway – third floor, room 322A

Mobile: (+47) 46400403

SkypeIn: +44 20 32871874


HIFA profile: Simon Lewin is a health systems researcher at the Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services ( and the Medical Research Council of South Africa ( His work is mainly in the field of implementation research, including systematic reviews of health systems interventions; the development and evaluation of strategies for changing professional and user behaviours and the organization of care; and the use of lay or community health workers to deliver care. He is an editor for the Cochrane Consumers and Communication Review Group and the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care Review Group. He is a member of the HIFA working group on CHWs:

Email: simon.lewin AT