THE AFRICAN COMMUNITY FOR SYSTEMATIC REVIEWS AND META-ANALYSES (ACSRM)
See also the ACSRM website: www.acsrm.info
In recent times, the use of evidence in making decisions about professional practice and public policy is becoming more common. It started in the healthcare sector of high-income countries (HICs), and it is gradually expanding to other policy areas and across international borders. Systematic reviews are scientific approaches to generating systematic and transparent quality-assessed syntheses of research.
We conducted a systematic review and meta-analyses needs assessment among Low-and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC) researchers, from November to December, 2022. Results showed that the majority (78%) of LMIC researchers have never conducted a systematic review. The most prominent reason for that was lack of training and skills in systematic reviews and meta-analyses (SMR) (98% of responses). About 36% of them revealed that skill development has been constrained by lack of experienced collaborators and platforms. This means that skills training for individuals will have limited utility if not allied to opportunities for review teams to practice the skills.
The training and production of systematic reviews in a country or region, irrespective of income status, is positively correlated with the presence of systematic review networks in that country or region. Hence, the African Community for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (ACSRM) leverages on the framework established by international systematic review organizations and addresses two key gaps: getting more LMICs based scholars and getting more studies for LMICs.
ACSRM was officially launched on December 8, 2022 and December 19, 2022 in the University of Rwanda, Rwanda and the University of Lagos, Nigeria respectively. The initiative is supported by AuthorAID/INASP, and by students and faculty members across LMICs. The initiative is funded by AuthorAID/INASP.
To be a leading global community with an atmosphere that supports systematic review research and use in low-and middle-income countries.
1. To empower researchers from the academia and research institutions especially early career researchers with knowledge, skills, tools, and resources needed to successfully conduct systematic reviews and meta-analyses.
2. To empower systematic review users (scientists, government agencies, expert panels, patients, policy-makers, health-care advocates) with the knowledge and skills needed to critique, understand, interpret and use systematic reviews and meta-analyses.
3. To cooperate and work with partners, stakeholders, research institutions, and academic institutions to promote and improve the use and production of systematic reviews and meta-analyses.
OUR CORE VALUES:
1. Passion: We have a sense of enthusiasm for our work and for the people around us.
2. Teamwork: We operate on the principle of teamwork because we believe people are capable of building something bigger than themselves when they unite.
3. Integrity: Everyone who represents our hub is committed to acting in a way that is consistent with our values.
4. Accountability: We accept responsibility for our actions (and inactions) because it is the best way to build trust internally and externally.
5. Quality: We uphold the highest standards because we understand that, how well an organization crafts its goods and services determines how successful it is.
6. Diversity and Inclusion: We prosper by integrating a variety of backgrounds and experiences into a setting where everyone has an equal opportunity
7. Collaboration: We understand the importance of systematic reviews and meta-analyses in shaping practice in the global community; thus, we work with different stakeholders in promoting systematic reviews production and use in LMICs.
8. Equity: We are determined to promote fairness in all that we do, and at all times.
ACSRM is Co-founded and led by:
-Fortune B. Effiong (University of Calabar, Nigeria)
-DINE Roseline Dzekem (Rinda Ubuzima, Rwanda/University of Rwanda, Rwanda)
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