Background: Cochrane’s network with members from more than 130 countries worldwide offers great opportunities for international exchange and knowledge sharing. However, an official Cochrane exchange programme is not yet established.
Objectives: to develop an international exchange programme open to all Cochrane members and supporters that provides opportunities for learning and engagement. It involves activities related to the production, use and knowledge translation of Cochrane Reviews.
Methods: in 2018, two Cochrane International Mobility (CIM) pilot-projects were launched from Cochrane Sweden in collaboration with Cochrane Austria and Cochrane Netherlands. So far, this has resulted in two Cochrane Reviews and improved networking opportunities between different Centres (including the establishment of new Cochrane workshops). Following the two CIM pilot-projects, we contacted Centre Directors to explore existing initiatives within Cochrane similar to CIM. More information can be found here: community.cochrane.org/news/cochrane-international-mobility-programme.
In addition, we used internal communication channels to disseminate CIM (e.g. collaborating with Cochrane to disseminate the initiative, and via Twitter (hashtag #CochraneInternationalMobility).
Results: by April 2019, 19 Cochrane entities have agreed to join CIM, including 13 Centres (Australia, Austria, Croatia, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Nordic, Norway, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden), three Groups (Anaesthesia, EPOC, Neonatal) and two Fields (Neurological, Rehabilitation). Two CIM programmes are ongoing (Italy-Sweden; Sweden-Denmark) and one is planned for Autumn 2019 (Sweden-Netherlands). In April 2019, in line with the theme 'Embracing diversity', a joint webinar: Cochrane Sweden-GESI (www.gesiinitiative.com/) presented CIM outside Cochrane, thus opening up for additional partnerships. There are talks on how to expand the programmes to include all Cochrane contributors.
Conclusions: CIM has been an inspiring initiative, improving capacity building without resulting in an additional workload for the Centres. Its consolidation and dissemination may be improved through exposure at the Colloquium with access to a wider stakeholder group and with support from the Central Executive Team at Cochrane. An objective is to expand CIM and incorporate a broad range of programmes supporting Cochrane, giving all contributors the opportunity to participate in a programme, where they can exchange experiences and gain unique insights.
Relevance to patients and consumers: patients and healthcare consumers are welcome to join CIM, thus leading to new dedicated activities involving different countries. Patients and healthcare consumers conducting a CIM programme might become potentially eligible for membership, gain access to resources such as Cochrane Interactive Learning and free registration to a Colloquium.