Welcome to the QESymposium focusing on the use of qualitative evidence to inform decisions in the SDG era.

All registered symposium participants (virtual and in-person) received their access credentials. If you are an registered participant, please check your email, including the spam box, and and if you need assistance, please contact us.

If you have not registered yet, do so now here.

You can access the QESymposium virtual platform using the following link: Virtual Symposium

The QESymposium’s virtual platform includes resources and tools for watching and participating in the webcast Symposium plenary sessions, and for accessing complementary materials (interviews, podcasts, photos and speaker slidesets from selected Symposium sessions). In addition, the platform allows you to interact with other participants (including both those attending virtually and in person), using the chat and messaging features.

If you have any questions or difficulties regarding accessing or using the virtual platform, please contact us at qesymposium2019@qesymposium.org 

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.
  • Pre-symposium activities will take place on October 8th
  • 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 was extended to 12 May 2019.
  • Notification of abstract and workshop acceptance will be on or around 30 June 2019.

Who can take part?

We invite:

  • Anyone interested in producing qualitative research evidence or using this evidence in decision processes. This includes academics/scholars, programme managers and policy makers, research commissioners and members of civil society organisations
  • People from a broad range of sectors relevant to the SDGs, including education, the environment, health, human rights, social development, science and technology and welfare

Registration for the Symposium in Brasilia will be open to people who:

  • Have submitted an oral presentation or poster abstract that has been accepted for the Symposium, or
  • Have submitted a workshop abstract that has been accepted

Stipends will be available for some participants.

Registration for the virtual symposiumwhich will takeplace alongside the face-to-face event, is now open to all interested participants here. Join us!


Why take part?

Through the Symposium, we will bring together people in decision processes across sectors as well as 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
  • Biljana Macura, Stockholm Environment Institute, Sweden and Collaboration for Environmental Evidence (CEE)
  • Birte Snilstveit, International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie), London, UK
  • Cátia de Carvalho, Campbell Collaboration, University of Porto, Portugal
  • Cecília Farinasso, Ministry of Health of Brazil
  • Claire Glenton, Centre for Informed Health Choices, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Norway; and Cochrane 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
  • Kingsley Kwadwo Asare Pereko, People’s Health Movement Ghana (PHM) and University of Cape Coast, School of Medical Sciences (SMS), Ghana
  • Laura Boeira, Veredas Institute, Brazil
  • Luciana Leão, Ministry of Health of Brazil
  • Ludovic Reveiz, PAHO / EVIPNet Americas
  • Luiz Augusto Galvão, Fiocruz Strategic Studies Center (CEE)
  • Mariana dos Santos, University of Campinas – UNICAMP, Brazil
  • Maritsa Bortoli, Health Institute of São Paulo, Brazil
  • Marta Pinto, Campbell Collaboration, University of Porto, Portugal
  • Meghan Bohren, Centre for Health Equity, School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Australia
  • Michael Rodriguez, Health Equity Network of the Americas (HENA)
  • Neal Haddaway, Stockholm Environment Institute, Sweden, Africa Centre for Evidence, South Africa and Collaboration for Environmental Evidence (CEE)
  • Rachel Riera, Institute of Education and Research of the Hospital Sírio-Libanês (IEP-HSL), Brazil
  • Sharmila Sousa, Fiocruz Brasilia, Brazil
  • Simon Lewin, Centre for Informed Health Choices, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Norway; South African Medical Research Council, South Africa; and Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care (EPOC) Group
  • 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 José Alves Pedro, Universidade Federal de São Carlos – UFSCar. Associação Brasileira de Estudos Sociais das Ciências e das Tecnologias – ESOCITE.BR

Contact us

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

To contact the Symposium organisers, please email qesymposium2019@qesymposium.org.