Newsletter February 2022

Happy Lunar New Year to our colleagues and partners celebrating the arrival of the Year of the Tiger this month!

In January CEI co-hosted four days of implementation research workshops in collaboration with UNICEF’s global team. This month we are sharing new research we’ve conducted with the Australian Education Research Organisation; the country's new independent education evidence body, on 'what works for what works.' And in late 2021 we were honoured when The Campbell Collaboration, a leading international social science research network, recognised CEI’s Executive Director Dr Robyn Mildon for Contributions to Knowledge Translation. CEI and our partners were also recognised with the Leonard E. Gibbs Award for contributions to evidence-informed practice in social welfare for our work on an evidence and gap map on child institutional maltreatment. 

Our team, partners, and collaborators have important plans for the year ahead. We will be working with partners on a series of events, including bi monthly webinars with the Centre for Holistic Initiatives for Learning and Development (CHILD) and Behavioural and Implementation Science Interventions (BISI) in Singapore. We are currently developing an online course for researchers alongside the Sexual Violence Research Initiative. And later this year we will run an evidence driven policymaking course with the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. Several major evaluations we have worked on are coming to an end and new multi-year studies are about to begin. Read on for details and more news from CEI.

CEI Executive Director Dr Robyn Mildon recognised with international award for contribution to the sector

CEI is proud to announce that our founder and Executive Director Dr Robyn Mildon was recently honoured with The Campbell Collaboration's John Westbrook Award for Knowledge Translation. The Campbell Collaboration is a leading international social science research network. Robyn co-founded the Campbell Knowledge Translation and Implementation Coordinating Group and served as its Co-chair until 2020. The panel noted the John Westbrook Award recognises her significant contribution to using knowledge translation and implementation science to make research syntheses more relevant and useful for policy and practice and her outstanding contributions to advance the mission and work of the Campbell Collaboration.


Evidence and gap map on child institutional maltreatment wins the Leonard E. Gibbs Award

Alongside our partners Monash University, Caroline Fiennes (Newhouse) at Giving Evidence, and The Campbell Collaboration, CEI was recognised with The Leonard E. Gibbs Award for our work  'Interventions that address institutional child maltreatment: An evidence & gap map.' The award is given to the authors of a completed Campbell systematic review that contributes to evidence-informed practice in social welfare. Evidence and gap maps are interactive tools designed to help policy makers and funders who commission and use research to easily identify evidence of 'what works' in a particular area and identify gaps in the evidence base.

Dr Leonard E. Gibbs, Professor Emeritus of Social Work at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, was an internationally recognised expert in the field of evidence-based practice (EBP) and a fervent proponent of EBP in the helping professions.


Facilitating cross-sectoral learning in implementation research for UNICEF's global teams

CEI designed and co-hosted a comprehensive four-day workshop for UNICEF in January on Cross-sectoral Learning in Implementation Research: Harnessing the potential to accelerate results for children. The workshop exchanged learning from projects and teams working across sectors that have been adopting and experimenting with implementation research, discussed how to institutionalise implementation research as a core and continuous part of impactful programming, and considered how to develop systematic and inclusive approaches to identifying priorities for implementation research.

The workshop, developed for UNICEF’s global teams and external partners, showcased UNICEF's implementation research activity and sought to support UNICEF in developing approaches to consolidate and extend its work in the field. Leading implementation scientists and groups using implementation research presented insights. The workshop was co-funded by the Centre for Global Health Inequalities Research (CHAIN) at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).


Uncovering what works for 'what works'

The Australian Education Research Organisation (AERO) is Australia’s new independent education evidence body. In its critical early stage of work, AERO sought CEI’s support to undertake a review into major, system-level efforts to cultivate evidence informed practice: an assessment of ‘what works for what works.’ The objective was to understand the successes and failures of evidence institutions and intermediaries, particularly in education, and what AERO should do differently in light of these insights. The study found that evidence centres have often under-attended to research uptake, and that lessons from implementation science could support the sector to accelerate quality research into mainstream practice.


Building the evidence base to improve ‘matching’ in foster care

Most children in care in the UK live in a fostering family, and there is a growing movement globally to put more children in care with families. The decision to ‘match’ a child in care with a particular foster family is a pivotal one – it can help a child feel safe, loved, supported, and happy. What Works for Children’s Social Care commissioned CEI to conduct a systematic review on matching in foster care. The review considered the evidence on the effectiveness of matching practices and the lived experiences of those who are ‘matched,’ including those aspects they identify as important. 

Whilst the evidence is limited, the research underscores the importance of social care professionals consulting with children and young people when decisions around matching are made – including valuing which aspects of matching are most important to them. The review found that child-centric, carer-informed approaches may be important contributors to stability and the minimisation of foster care disruptions – factors linked to better outcomes for children.


Call for expressions of interest from researchers 

We are inviting expressions of interest for researchers to participate in a pilot of a new online course for researchers, called the Pathways to Research Impact Course. Funded by the Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI), CEI, in partnership with the Africa Centre for Evidence, is developing an online course for researchers who want to increase their impact in the fields of violence against women and violence against children. The course is particularly targeted towards researchers in low- and middle-income countries, or those whose research focuses on these contexts. The course provides a structured process that will support researchers to reflect on their own role within the violence against women/violence against children evidence ecosystem and develop strategies that enhance research uptake, use, and impact.


Invitation to CHILD Evidence to Policy and Practice Webinar - 'Place-based Approaches in Early Childhood'

CHILD's first 2022 webinar is here!
Please join us for a panel discussion on
‘Place-based Approaches in Early Childhood’ 
25 February between 9 & 10am SGT (12-1pm AEDT)

CHILD Feb 2022 Webinar


Events, News and Publications

Managing Director Mary Abdo, Director Dr Cheryl Seah and Executive Director Dr Robyn Mildon contributed a piece to Inside Philanthropy on why Singapore is uniquely positioned to advance a strategic agenda around a broad vision for improving outcomes in the region. Read: Singapore Is Poised to be Asia’s Hub for Philanthropy—What Could This Mean for the Global Sector?.

Senior Advisor Dr Eleanor Ott reflected on the results of CEI’s systematic review on ‘matching’ and ‘co-creating’ processes when connecting children with foster families, tying the research findings to her own experience as a foster parent, in a piece published in Children & Young People Now.

The Centre for Holistic Initiatives for Learning and Development (CHILD) published its third evidence insight: Eating behaviours in childhood: Why they matter & what can we do?

Singapore Director Dr Cheryl Seah and Advisor Dr Evelyn Tan will run an implementation science workshop: 'Implementation Science – The Healthcare Challenge' for the Singapore Institute of Technology on 11 March 2022. Registration is open to the public (specifically to registered healthcare professionals and those employed in health services). You can register here (closes February 18). 

Managing Director Mary Abdo and Director Dr Vanessa Rose will run a workshop in collaboration with Pledge 1%, a global community of companies that pledge 1% of equity, time, profit, or product to social impact. Titled 'Demystifying Evidence' the session is designed to help participants prepare to take the next step in their 'pledge' by showcasing how donors can use evidence to accelerate learning and make the most impact. The workshop will be held between 3:30 and 4:30pm AEDT on 16 February 2022. You can register here.