29 November 2012
A senior lecturer from Canterbury Christ Church University is participating in a major new initiative fighting global inequalities in public health.
Working with the highly regarded international network, The Cochrane Collaboration, Esther Coren, on secondment to the University’s Research Centre for Children Families and Communities, has taken part in the launch of a new satellite group in Southern India to help develop research in public health for low and middle income countries.
Esther said: “The Cochrane Collaboration is seen as the best source of information in the world for high quality evidence on the effectiveness of different types of health interventions. It has very high academic credibility and can influence the very top policy makers.
“The Cochrane Public Health Group, which is based in Melbourne, is doing very important work in the battle against global inequality, and I’ve been contributing to that work through a review I am leading on about the well-being of street children.”
A symposium with international speakers, including Esther, was held in Southern India earlier this month to establish a satellite of the Cochrane Public Health Group. The aim of the new group is to develop capacity to conduct (Cochrane) research reviews in low and middle income countries, by people living in those countries.
Esther continued: “We hope that through the satellite group we will be able to set up training and mentoring for people to support the conduct of the type of research I, and others are doing within South Asia itself. Living in the region they will have much more clear ideas about what type of interventions will be useful to people in their area. They will also have a much better idea of what kind of evidence is going to be useful in their situations; what we need to do is to enable people to develop those skills themselves.
“My work on supporting street children and young people makes important assessments of research conducted and establishes which type of intervention has helped in high income countries, and tries to discover if the same type of interventions could work in lower and middle income countries. For example, looking at whether there are similar situations between countries, and whether an intervention might, or might not work due to perhaps cultural or environmental reasons. However, what is new about the satellite group is that we will hopefully soon develop capacity for this type of research within the region of South Asia, rather than by another country looking into the region.”
A review by Esther looking at interventions to promote re-integration and social inclusion, and reduce harms associated with unhealthy lifestyles in street children and young people, will be published by The Cochrane Collaboration early in the New Year.
The Cochrane Collaboration
Canterbury Christ Church University
Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.
With nearly 20,000 students, across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.
*2010/11 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey