5. How to engage with stakeholders II: during and after the review

This session will describe how stakeholders can be engaged during an evidence synthesis project. It will also include a discussion of ways to communicate the findings of a systematic review to different audiences. In a practical exercise, you'll then consider various case studies of stakeholder engagement during systematic review conduct and communication, and think about how best to report engagement activities.

Learning objectives

  • To understand the stages of the systematic review process where stakeholder engagement is possible
  • To appreciate how to engage with stakeholders meaningfully during: question formulation; topic prioritisation; protocol development; during review conduct; report drafting; and communication
  • To be aware of the concept of glass box systematic reviews, and the balance between transparency and protecting the review from undue influence
  • To appreciate the importance of carefully planned communication as a stakeholder engagement activity
  • To be aware of storytelling as one possible means of communication
  • To gain practical experience of appraising the quality of the conduct and reporting of stakeholder engagement in a set of recent systematic reviews

To begin, watch the following presentation.

You can find the lecture handouts here.

Practical exercise

In this exercise, you will spend some time reading how other reviewers have reported their stakeholder engagement activities in systematic review and map reports, considering how best to report engagement in a transparent and repeatable manner.

Read through the extracts of text from three recent systematic reviews/maps here:

Take some time to think about how stakeholder engagement was conducted in each of these reviews and consider the following questions:
  • Can you tell who was engaged?
  • When and how were the stakeholders engaged: during planning, during conduct, to facilitate communication?
  • How were findings communicated to stakeholders?
  • Do you think that the report of stakeholder engagement provided detailed enough?

Once you're done, consider how you might report stakeholder engagement in your review project. How might you document your engagement? How would you deal with the trade-off between anonymity and the need for transparency/acknolwedgement?

Move to the next module!