From Agenda to Action: Collaborative Evidence Networks and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals were adopted in 2015 to replace the Millennium Development Goals. As we approach the midway point towards the 2030 target date, it is timely to reflect on the contribution of those in the evidence synthesis community to achieving these important global objectives. The Global Commission on Evidence concluded that both coverage and quality of evidence syntheses was uneven, that many of the reviews were out of date, and many did not include studies from low- or middle-income countries.
Objectives: This study sought to determine alignment of published JBI systematic and scoping reviews to the targets of Sustainable Development Goal 3 (Global Health and Well-being) and to understand author awareness of the goals and their relationship to their work.
Methods: A desktop audit of systematic and scoping reviews published in the journal JBI Evidence Synthesis was undertaken followed by a short author survey.
Results: The results of this pilot study indicate that the SDGs are not currently a significant consideration for most authors, but there is a desire to learn more and integrate them into their prioritisation processes. Fundamental to maximising the potential of evidence syntheses and the achievement of the targets set out in the SDGs (particularly SDG-3) are issues relating to policy, partnership, and prioritisation. The results of this pilot clearly highlight the need for the global evidence community to work together in partnership to ensure that policy and practice relevant reviews are being prioritised.
Conclusions: Although the SDGs are not the only driver to influence the prioritisation of evidence syntheses, they are an important consideration and part of our collective social responsibility. Cooperation and coordination of effort to prioritise evidence syntheses would assist in avoiding research waste, duplication of effort, and the conduct of irrelevant reviews. It is time to think about resetting and recommitting our mutual agendas to transform the evidence ecosystem, maximise the limited resources available to us, and truly make a global impact on health outcomes. Patient, public, and/or healthcare consumer involvement: N/A.