Plenaries and speakers

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The Global Evidence Summit is an inter-sectoral and multi-disciplinary event exchanging ideas about how we best generate, summarize and communicate evidence to inform and change policy and practice worldwide. 

The five plenary sessions will feature regional and international speakers addressing key issues that will highlight and promote evidence-based approaches to target resources to what works. We anticipate input from a multitude of perspectives including education, social and criminal justice, environment, gender health, health systems and clinical care and practice.

Following each plenary, there will be a number of special sessions that match the plenary theme. These sessions will continue discussions and the exchange of ideas. Further information about the special sessions will be published in May.

Plenary 1: 
EVIDENCE FOR AFRICA: How evidence is changing communities across one continent 

Wednesday 13 September, 9-10.30am

Ruth Stewart:
Ruth spent her childhood in Malawi, and has dedicated more than 20 years to using evidence to improve lives across the African continent. Based in South Africa, she is the Director of the University of Johannesburg’s Africa Centre for Evidence and Chairperson of the Africa Evidence Network. Her work includes the production of evidence for decision-makers, as well as supporting civil servants to access and make sense of research.
Plenary title: Do evidence networks make a difference?

Patrick Mbah Okwen:
Patrick is a Cameroonian medical doctor and health economist passionate about improving global health outcomes. He conducts public health research, and systematic reviews with both Cochrane and Campbell Collaborations.  Patrick works in health development in the areas of ICT as well as governance at public health institutions in Cameroon.

The objectives of this plenary are to understand how the African continent deals with evidence from policy to practice, through examples and overview of networks and activities.

Plenary 2: 
BREAKING DOWN THE SILOS: Digital and trustworthy evidence ecosystem

Thursday 14 September, 9-10.30am

Karen Barnes:
Karen is a global leading expert in malaria research. Passionate about the comprehensive evaluation of malaria treatment policy changes in Southern Africa she has worked for twenty years in improving anti-malarial dosing regimens for vulnerable populations, including young children, pregnant women and patients with HIV/AIDS or malnutrition.Karen leads the Worldwide Antimalarial Resistance Network (WWARN) pharmacology group and serves as an advisor to several WHO Expert Groups on malaria.
Plenary title: Evidence production fit for purpose?  Sharing data to inform policy and practice – the experience of the WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network (WWARN)

Greg Ogrinc: 
Greg Ogrinc is a general internal medicine doctor and serves as the interim Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and as the Associate Chief of Staff for Education at the White River Junction Veterans Hospital in Vermont, USA.  He is an Associate Professor of Medicine and of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice.  Greg is the lead author on the Fundamental of Healthcare Improvement textbook that introduces the basics of quality improvement methods.  He is the co-investigator for the revision of the Standards for Quality Improvement Reporting Excellence (SQUIRE) guidelines, a set of publication guidelines for sharing quality improvement work through published literature.  

Linn Brandt:
Linn is an MD and works as an internist in Oslo. She is passionate about improving improve electronic tools for physicians point of care, and is especially interested in making guidelines digital, structured and possible to integrate with electronic medical records. She is one of the founders of the MAGIC project and is currently involved in research on guidelines, clinical decision support systems, and health registries.
Plenary title: Evidence Ecosystem concept and advances in evidence synthesis and dissemination

Jonathan Sharples:
Jonathan is a global expert in brain-science research and works with schools and policy makers to promote evidence-informed practice, and spread knowledge of ‘what works’ in teaching and learning. As a Senior Researcher at the Education Endowment Foundation, from the Institute of Education at University College London, he is exploring schools’ use of research evidence.  Jonathan previously worked at The Institute for the Future of the Mind at the University of Oxford, where he was looking at how insights from brain-science research can support teachers’ expertise and professional development. He is the author of Evidence for the Frontline, a report published by the Alliance for Useful Evidence that outlines the elements of a functioning evidence system.

This plenary will set out to understand how explicit links between actors are needed - and now possible - to close the loop between new evidence and improved care, through a culture for sharing evidence combined with advances in methods and technology/platforms for digitally structured data.

Plenary 3: 
EVIDENCE FOR EMERGING CRISES: How international collaboration and innovation can solve global humanitarian crises, such as Ebola

Friday 15 September, 9-10.30am

John-Arne Røttingen:
Executive Director of the Division of Infectious Disease Control at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and Professor of health policy at the Department of Health Management and Health Economics, University of Oslo. His areas of expertise include working with health policy and health systems with emphasis on how evidence can inform global decision-making.

This plenary explores how evidence generated through international collaboration and innovations can solve emergent global crises and what is needed to prepare for future epidemics, using Ebola as an example.

Plenary 4: 
EVIDENCE IN A POST-TRUTH WORLD: The evidence, ethos and pathos. How scientists can engage, and influence the public, press and politicians 

Saturday 16 September, 9-10.30am

Trish Greenhalgh:  
Trish is a Professor of Primary Care Health Sciences and Fellow of Green Templeton College at the University of Oxford, UK. She is an internationally recognized academic in primary health care and trained as a General Practitioner. Her vast past expertise and research has covered the evaluation and improvement of clinical services and the challenges of implementing evidence-based practice, which includes the study of knowledge translation and research impact, and the application of philosophy to clinical practice.

Anim van Wyk:
joined Africa Check as Deputy Editor in July 2014. She was named Editor on 1 October 2015. Previously she edited an award-winning national supplement in the Afrikaans papers Beeld, Die Burger, and Volksblad and has also worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine writer, and television producer. In 2016, she completed a master’s degree in media management at Stellenbosch University – titled “Fact-checking in the Global South: Facts about non-profit journalism funding models – a case study”, sharing the prize for best student.

The ‘post-truth world’ has been defined as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” (Oxford English Dictionary, 2016).  The rise of ‘post-truth’ requires us to go beyond the question of how robust the evidence is and how persuasive it is. Notwithstanding the need for robust evidence, what else can scientists do (and with whom do we need to collaborate) to engage and influence public, press and politicians at a time when our own credibility in their eyes is low and falling?  This session will include an academic overview of argumentation theories that have drawn and built on Aristotle’s early work, as well as presentations from a science journalist working in controversial fields and a social media analyst who studies the spread of news (real and ‘fake’).

Plenary 5: 
EVIDENCE FOR EQUITY: How evidence can achieve a more equitable world, for everyone

Saturday 16 September, 4-5.30pm

Sipho Mthathi:
Sipho is the founding Executive Director of Oxfam South Africa and has two decades of experience in the human rights and social justice movement in Southern Africa. She has been General Secretary of the Treatment Action Campaign, the South Africa Director of Human Rights Watch, the regional advisor at the Coalition of African Lesbians, and most recently Manager for South Africa and Southern Africa programmes at Norwegian People’s Aid. Her expertise has been in working with people and organizations advocating for just distribution of power and resources particularly in the extractives industry.

This plenary describes how evidence plays a role in achieving a more equitable world.

Further information and details about the special sessions coming soon.