Online Course: Systematic Evidence Evaluation 2021

Call for Expressions of Interest

Course Outline

22-26 March, 2021: 10 hours split up into 5 Seminars of 2 hours duration each

The IUFRO Special Programme for Development of Capacities (IUFRO-SPDC) in collaboration with the University of Oxford, United Kingdom, is organizing a one-week online training workshop on systematic evidence evaluation addressing the broad theme of “Forest Landscape Restoration”.

Detailed Course Description


The need for quantitative and qualitative scientific evidence for policy and management has significantly risen in recent years as the world is becoming increasingly interlinked with complex problems awaiting adequate policy and management decisions at all levels. This holds also true for the land use sector where forests and trees play key roles in the conservation, restoration and sustainable management of landscapes, particularly against the backdrop of the most pressing problems in the 21st century such as poverty, food security, transformation to a greener economy and sustainable development. In this context, it is important that sufficient evidence is generated from the body of globally available scientific research for the purpose of informing policy decisions and actions about forests and forest-related land-uses.

Objectives of the Workshop

This Training Workshop will present tools for systematic evidence evaluation which aim to support good decision-making. Using a participatory approach, participants will learn how to prepare systematic reviews that assess the evidence base for questions of high priority for policy and forestry management. Participants are encouraged to bring to the virtual workshop particular topics of interest to them and their countries - within the overall theme of the workshop on forest landscape restoration - that would benefit from a scientific evidence approach.

Workshop Description

The course introduces participants to the skills and methods required for systematic reviews of forest-related science, including framing answerable questions that address policy and practice concerns; finding the best available evidence to answer the question; recognizing the limitations of available studies and the problem of bias; critically appraising the evidence for its validity and usefulness; planning a systematic review process; and devising active dissemination strategies to publicise the review results. The workshop also introduces some useful tools and software (including free tools) that can be used in systematic review. A detailed course description of this online training is provided here.

The workshop will be conducted by Dr. Gillian Petrokofsky, Biodiversity Institute, University of Oxford, UK and her team.  Dr. Petrokofsky has explored the systematic review process for forest science as part of her research on the quality of evidence for science-policy dialogue and for constructing relevant research agendas.  She has been involved in various evidence-based projects related to natural resources management including training workshops in systematic review.

Who should participate?

Early and mid-career scientists from economically-disadvantaged countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, working on research issues related to forest landscape restoration, are encouraged to submit their expression of interest for participating in this workshop.

If you would like to participate please complete the Expression of Interest form at:

Deadline for submissions: 28 Feburary, 2021   23:59 GMT

Course Requirements:

English is the language of instruction for this course.

No previous experience required for this introductory course to Systematic Evidence Evaluation. Participants are expected to have basic computer literacy and an interest in environmental science policy or research. A stable internet connection and a computer is required installed with:

Windows: 7 (or newer): Zoom -

Mac: OS 10.9 (or newer): Mendeley -

Linux: Debian Lenny (or equivalent or newer): Zotero -

Speakers and a microphone: Kahoot -