DFID established a systematic review programme in 2010 with the aim of generating rigorous reviews of the bodies of evidence around key questions of interest to DFID. Between 2010 and March 2012, DFID commissioned 68 systematic reviews. Many of these relate to international disciplines that are dependent on qualitative studies and an important element of the programme has been testing application of systematic review methodology which is traditionally more focused on quantitative data.
While programme staff have sought to continually learn and make improvements, DFID commissioned an internal review of the programme to methodically capture, and gain a greater understanding of, the views and experiences of DFID staff and external stakeholders, such as review teams and methodological experts. The review was carried out by two members of staff from DFID’s evaluation cadre, neither of whom was currently working in Research and Evidence Division in order to bring greater objectivity to the review. The reviewers read key documents, including programme documentation and completed systematic reviews, interviewed a cross section of stakeholder groups, sent out questionnaires to all main stakeholders not selected for interview and sent out a general invitation on the DFID intranet for anyone else who wished to provide feedback. This document gives DFID's response to the recommendations made in the review report.
DFID. DFID Response: Review of the DFID Systematic Review Programme. DFID, London, UK (2013) 7 pp.