How to choose methods for evaluation research: a test of the relevance of systematic review

A. Delaney, P.A. Tamas, H. Tobi

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractAcademic


Systematic review is used when authors want a comprehensive understanding of what is known on a given topic. It is the gold standard in the health sciences and it is of increasing importance in the social sciences. Systematic reviews are typically used to identify, assess and synthesize empirical evidence. This paper reports on a test of the suitability of systematic review for the identification of research methods appropriate for evaluation research on the effects of primary health care delivery on peace and conflict dynamics in conflict-affected regions. Our review methodology involved a reproducible search strategy, inclusion protocols for identification of relevant articles, criteria for quality assessment, defined procedures for extraction of data, and a systematic aggregation method. Testing this design finds that adopting even some aspects of systematic review are an improvement over the academic methodologically prescriptive articles reviewed. However, proper use of systematic review is complicated by the paucity of empirically grounded methodological recommendations, the prevalence of non-empirical arguments, uncertain citation practices and inconsistent reporting in the articles reviewed.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event14th EADI General Conference, Bonn, Germany -
Duration: 23 Jun 201426 Jun 2014


Conference14th EADI General Conference, Bonn, Germany

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