Mentorship, Community, and Evidence Synthesis Across Borders: Experiences of Cochrane US Year 2 Mentees
Omolola Alade, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada; Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
Moriasi Nyanchoka, Health Economics Research Unit, KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme, Nairobi, Kenya
Rehab Emad Ashmawy
Tiffany Duque, Cochrane
2McMaster University, Canada
3Health Economics Research Unit, KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme, Nairobi, Kenya., Kenya
4Faculty of Medicine, Helwan University, Egypt
6Department of Global Health, Koç University Graduate School of Health Sciences, Turkey
7Fac Ciències Salut Blanquerna, Univ Ramon Llul, Barcelona, España
8October 6 University, Giza, Egypt., Egypt
10Faculty of Medicine, Public Health, and Nursing, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia, Indonesia
11All India Institute of Medical Sciences, India
12University College London Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, UK, Indonesia
13Africa Center for HIV/AIDS Management - Stellenbosch University, South Africa; FHI 360 Yaoundé, Cameroon, Cameroon
14Nazarbayev University School of Medicine, Kazakhstan
15Cochrane US Mentorship Program Y2 Mentee, India
16School of Psychology, Cardiff University, United Kingdom
17Cochrane US, USA
Background: Sustainable improvement of availability, access, and adoption of trusted health evidence for all requires intentional effort to train and engage students and early- and mid-career professionals in evidence synthesis (ES), especially those from low- and middle-income countries, non-English speaking, and historically marginalized populations. The Cochrane US Mentoring Program is a mentorship-based community that enables participants to become proficient in ES and build a professional network beyond geographical borders. Y2 comprises 27 mentees, 18 mentors, and myriad volunteers from 23 countries.
Objective: To describe our experiences as Cochrane US Year 2 (Y2) mentees in building skills in ES, knowledge translation, multi-language strategies, organizing events, and making lasting connections at Cochrane and beyond.
Engagement Activities: Within the Y2 mentorship program, we have engaged in various activities, including attending monthly seminars, regular meetings with mentors to partner on projects, completing Cochrane training, and participating in Cochrane Crowd and CochranEngage initiatives. We have shared their stories through #MyStory on Cochrane.org. We have also organized webinars, social media campaigns, and panels for World Evidence-Based Health Care Day and International Women’s Day.
Lessons Learned: Through this program, we have gained skills in ES and also learned how capacity-building initiatives like this can break down silos and remove other constraints, such as financial limitations and access. Our shared passion for evidence-based health care in building networks beyond borders and across institutions is an important and transferable skill. We understand the importance of clear communication, particularly with respect to cultures and languages. In our evidence-based healthcare advocacy work, we recognize the crucial connection between ES and improved health outcomes.
Conclusions: Thanks to the efforts and in-kind contributions of program volunteers, we are gaining skills in ES and opening doors for professional opportunities. We hope to become mentors and share new knowledge with colleagues. We also aspire to evaluate this program’s impact on mentees’ knowledge and skills in ES. Future expansion of capacity-building strategies, such as this mentorship program, will support equity, accessibility, and engagement in Cochrane, ultimately supporting Cochrane’s mission: better health outcomes for patients and populations.