Inaugural visit of Evidence Aid to Melbourne, Australia – two training courses and 13th Skip Burkle lecture

Added August 20, 2018

Disaster Research @ Monash – 6th Annual Research Symposium: Strengthening the evidence-base on the effectiveness of interventions in disasters and humanitarian crises

The Inaugural Visit of Evidence Aid to Oceania in November 2018

An introduction to systematic reviews in the humanitarian sector: 1-day Evidence Aid course, 9.00am – 5.00pm. Cost: $275* incl GST, Tuesday 27th November 2018

Course Outline: Building on twenty years experience as a systematic reviewer, on a wide range of topics across many settings, Professor Paul Montgomery will run this 1-day Evidence Aid course to place systematic reviews in the context of disasters and the provision of humanitarian aid. The course will provide learning and practical experience in a small group setting for many aspects of systematic review-ing. These include question formulation and eligibility criteria, searching for eligible material, data extraction, analysis, and reporting. Examples relevant to the humanitarian sector will be used to illustrate key points and participants should leave the course feeling more comfortable about embarking on their own systematic review and when using reviews for decision making.

Evaluating complex humanitarian interventions – utilising evidence-based approaches 2-day Evidence Aid course, 9.00am – 5.00pm both days. Cost: $550* incl GST, Wednesday 28th and Thursday 29th November 2018

Course Outline: Humanitarian interventions are invariably complex and this course will aim to teach how to utilise evidence-based approaches to evaluate them. Through 8 sessions (see details below), the course, run by Professor Paul Montgomery, will equip participants with up-to-date research and best practices in evaluation skills and how these can be applied to the humanitarian and non-profit sectors. This includes covering aspects on question formulation, use of systematic reviewing, study designs (including randomised controlled trials), implementation and how to develop theories of change. Given the nature of most humanitarian interventions, it is challenging to establish with certainty what interventions ‘work’ and how to optimise existing practices. This course will teach participants how to work with ‘complexity’ and what aspects to consider when developing or appraising humanitarian interventions. Session 1 will introduce the concept of evidence-based practice and systematic reviewing with a focus on interventions in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Session 2 will address how to conduct and evaluate evaluations with high quality studies. Session 3 will cover and discuss the practical and ethical issues of evaluating different types of humanitarian interventions. Session 4 will elaborate on what tools and practices can be applied to measure the impact of interventions in complex settings- a focus on ‘how-to’. Session 5 and 6 will discuss the concept of ‘complexity’ and demonstrate how complex interventions can be meaningfully investigated by developing ‘theories of change’. In session 7, the issue of implementation and context will be addressed with a focus on how to balance programme fidelity with local adaptation. Last, session 8 will elaborate on different types of trial (e.g. realist, pragmatic) and cover alternative methods.

Both courses on Clayton campus, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

Course Leader:Professor Montgomery works in the methods and conduct of rigorous evaluations of effects of a wide variety of interventions, actions and strategies. He is Professor of Social Intervention at the University of Birmingham as well as an Editor for the Cochrane Collaboration. He also teaches reviewing and evaluation skills for policy and practice not only for Evidence Aid but also throughout the UK and across the world. Over the last 20 years, Paul has become a leading figure in the area of complex interventions and has published a large number of trials and studies of different designs both in lower- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and in the global north. Currently, Paul is also a member of the Cross Whitehall Trials Panel for the UK Cabinet Office which seeks to deliver best quality evidence for policymakers.

Co-hosts and companion events

Monash University Disaster Resilience Initiative

The 13th Annual Professor Frederick ‘Skip’ Burkle Keynote Lecture is a highlight of the MUDRI year and will be integrated with the Evidence Aid program. Professor Paul Montgomery will deliver this year’s Burkle Keynote Lecture at 5.30pm, Wednesday 28th November, 2018, followed by refreshments. No cost, but we do ask you to register for catering purposes.

The Oceania Chapter of WADEM is celebrating its first 10 years. Launched at Monash University 10 years ago in November 2008, the Oceania Chapter will co-host these Evidence Aid training programs and the Burkle Lecture at Monash in November. The WADEM Oceania Chapter invites you to celebrate this milestone event by participating in these events and at the refreshments following the Burkle Lecture.


Registrations for the two Evidence Aid programs will be limited to 20 participants in each, to maximise class interaction and personal learning. Registrations will be accepted on a first come first served basis. Please register early to ensure your participation in this unique opportunity. All participants will receive course notes and links to relevant resources, ongoing support following the courses, morning and afternoon tea and lunch. Course participants are warmly invited to attend the Burkle Keynote Lecture and the following refreshments.


Standard fee is $275 for the one day program, $550 for the 2 day program, or $750 for all 3 days. WADEM Oceania Chapter members or full-time students: $220 for the one day program, $440 for the 2 day program, or $600 for all 3 days.

Audience and Objectives

These courses are of interest to academics, volunteers and agencies wishing to review and deliver aid during humanitarian and disaster crises, particularly as funds struggle to keep pace with need and donors are pressing for more evidence that their gifts are having the best possible impact. The one-day courses are suitable for those who want to use systematic reviews in developing programmes; the two-day courses are geared towards those who would like to develop and run their own programmes.

Further information

Dr Caroline Spencer, MUDRI Academic Co-ordinator,, +61 3 9905 4397 – Academic program

Ms Samantha Bailey, MUDRI Project Administration,, +61 3 9902 0358 – Administration & Registration