Qualitative evidence and the Sustainable Development Goals

Multisectoral action is needed to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Such action requires a deep and contextualised understanding of the needs, views and experiences of a wide range of stakeholders. It also requires an in-depth understanding of how policies and programmes impact on different groups and sectors, and on equity and social inclusion. Qualitative research can play a critical role in providing this type of evidence, and in ensuring the representation of diverse views and voices.

The Symposium

At the first Symposium on using qualitative evidence to inform decisions in the SDG era, we will advance conversations and collaborations on innovative ways of using qualitative evidence to broaden and humanise decision and policy-making processes to achieve the SDGs. We will also explore the tools and methods needed to support the translation of qualitative evidence into policy and practice. In addition, we will examine ways of strengthening capacity in this area, particularly in the global South. As well as face-to-face participation, we will also provide virtual participation options through a linked ‘virtual Symposium’.

Key dates

We want to include people from as many different disciplines, backgrounds and countries as possible, but can only accommodate a limited number of people at the Symposium. To ensure that participation is as broad as possible, we will first offer invited participants from a wide range of disciplines, backgrounds and countries to register. We will then open a call for abstract submission registration for all those interested in the Symposium themes. The authors of accepted abstracts will be invited to register for the Symposium.

  • The Symposium will be held from 9-11 October 2019.
  • The call to suggest themes for the Symposium will open on 4 March 2019.
  • Interest expression for attendance of the Virtual Symposium will open on 4 March 2019.
  • The call for abstracts and workshops will open on 11 March 2019.
  • The submission deadline for abstracts and workshops will be 30 April.
  • Notification of abstract and workshop acceptance will be on or around 30 June 2019.

Why take part?

Through the Symposium, we will bring together scholars, evidence users, evidence brokers, research commissioners and other stakeholders who are interested in producing or using evidence from qualitative research in decision processes across sectors – education, the environment, health, social development, welfare and human rights – and also across levels from local to global. By participating, you will be able to share with a multisectoral community your experiences and ideas on using qualitative evidence to support decision making.

Sharing knowledge and experiences, exploring innovative approaches, and learning from different sectors and disciplines through dialogue will be central to this Symposium. Approaches such as World Café and Open Space Technology will be used to maximise participation, alongside strategic keynote sessions focusing on new methods, applications and approaches. We will also offer training opportunities both before and during the gathering.

Who we are

The Symposium will be hosted by Fiocruz Brasilia, Brazil. The Symposium is organised by Fiocruz Brasilia and the Centre for Informed Health Choices, Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

Financial support for the Symposium has been provided by: the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, Geneva, Switzerland; and the Ministry of Health of Brazil / Fiocruz.

Members of the Scientific Programme Advisory Committee include:

  • Airton Stein, Federal University of Health Sciences, Porto Alegre, Brazil
  • Birte Snilstveit, International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie), London, UK
  • Cátia Carvalho,  Campbell Collaboration
  • Cecília Farinasso, Ministry of Health of Brazil
  • Claire Glenton, Centre for Informed Health Choices, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Norway
  • Daniel Maceira, Health Systems Global
  • Diego Gonzalez, BIREME (The Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information).
  • Evelina Chapman, Fiocruz Brasilia, Brazil
  • Fernanda Veronez, Federal Institute of Education of Espirito Santo, Brazil
  • Gilvania Melo, PAHO Brazil
  • John Lavis, McMaster Health Forum, McMaster University, Canada
  • Jorge Barreto, Fiocruz Brasilia, Brazil
  • Kaelan Moat, McMaster Health Forum, McMaster University, Canada
  • Karla Soares-Weiser, Cochrane, United Kingdom
  • Laura Boeira, Veredas Institute, Brazil
  • Luciana Leão, Ministry of Health of Brazil
  • Ludovic Reveiz, PAHO / EVIPNet Americas
  • Mariana dos Santos, University of Campinas – UNICAMP, Brazil
  • Maritsa Bortoli, Health Institute of São Paulo, Brazil
  • Marta Pinto, Campbell Collaboration
  • Sharmila Sousa, Fiocruz Brasilia, Brazil
  • Simon Lewin, Centre for Informed Health Choices, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Norway and South African Medical Research Council, South Africa
  • Sonia Venancio, Health Institute of São Paulo, Brazil
  • Tamara Lotfi, Global Evidence Synthesis Initiative, Lebanon
  • Ulysses Panisset, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil
  • Veronica Abdalla, BIREME (The Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information), Brazil
  • Vinícius Oliveira, Open University of Brazilian Unique Health System (SUS), Brazil
  • Wilson Pedro, Brazilian Association of Social Studies of Sciences and Technologies, Brazil

Contact us

Further information on the Symposium will be posted on this website.

To contact the Symposium organisers, please email [email protected].