Background: The last decade has seen an increase in production of impact evaluations and systematic reviews aimed at identifying effective development interventions. This growth presents a challenge – how to ensure existing evidence is accessible to decision makers, that new studies avoid duplication and that important evidence gaps are addressed?
In response, researchers, governments and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are increasingly investing in evidence-mapping exercises. To date, maps have catalogued evidence relating to many different types of international development programmes. Together they offer an important body of knowledge for addressing the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
Objectives: The map of maps will catalogue completed and ongoing systematic-evidence maps focusing on development programmes in low- and middle-income countries (L&MICs). In doing so we have three objectives:
1) to identify, critically appraise and summarise the characteristics of existing systematic-evidence maps;
2) to identify thematic gaps where new systematic-evidence maps could add value; and,
3) to provide easy access to existing systematic-evidence maps through an interactive platform. In so doing the map of maps is designed to provide a portal for key evidence on effectiveness to address the SDGs
Methods: The map will draw on systematic methods to identify relevant systematic-evidence maps. Key elements of the methodology will include a systematic search of the published and unpublished literature, and the application of systematic-inclusion criteria and data-extraction processes.
Results: The map will be completed by late April 2017 and a report and interactive online map will be published soon after. We expect the map of maps to catalogue over 50 evidence maps relating to various themes across international development. The interactive map will categorise evidence according to the different types of development programmes and the SDGs that they provide evidence on.