An introduction course to meta-analysis targeting young researchers in Southeast Asia was organised by AgriFoSe2030 in Bogor, Indonesia, the last week of August 2018.
The course ran over five days, with lectures and group work instructed by Prof. Julia Koricheva from Royal Holloway University of London. The 28 participants came from eight Asian countries, including Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.
The course was hosted by the World Agroforestry Centre, ICRAF’s regional office in Bogor. The local logistics were organised by ICRAF staff members and included a social visit to the Presidential Palace and the Bogor Botanical Gardens during one afternoon.
Meta-analysis - a powerful tool
The participants were divided into six groups and Professor Koricheva challenged each group to perform a small meta-analysis during the course and present it at the end of the week. Meta-analysis is a powerful statistical methodology for synthesizing research evidence across independent studies. The method allows quantitative analyses of the magnitude of effects and has a high degree of objectivity because it is based on a standardized set of statistical procedures.
During the course, the participants were guided through the different steps of a meta-analysis and discussed topics such as publication bias, non-independence, missing data and varying research quality.
– The discussions were lively and brought about a number of emerging collaborations and ideas on how to continue to synthesize research through meta-analysis and systematic reviews, says course organiser Johanna Wetterlind.