Running Cochrane priority setting processes: practical guidance

Workshop category: 

  • Priority setting
Date and Location


Thursday 24 October 2019 - 16:00 to 17:30


Contact persons and facilitators

Contact person:


Head K1, Foxlee R2, De Haan S3, Kellie F4, Akl E5, El-Harakeh A6, King T7, Motu’apuaka M8
1 Cochrane, Switzerland
2 Cochrane Editorial and Methods Department, UK
3 Cochrane, The Netherlands
4 Pregnancy and Childbirth, UK
5 American University of Beirut, Lebanon
6 ,
7 Cochrane Fertility Regulation Group, USA
8 Cochrane Fertility Regulation, USA
Target audience

Target audience: 

Anyone running a Cochrane priority setting process

Level of difficulty: 

Type of workshop

Type of workshop : 



Background: ensuring that the Cochrane Reviews we produce are relevant worldwide is a key part of Goal 1 in Cochrane’s Strategy to 2020. To identify the reviews that will have the greatest impact on health care, we must identify the topics and questions that matter most to our target audiences (consumers/general public, healthcare practitioners, policy-makers and healthcare managers and researchers/research funders) by involving key stakeholders in a priority-setting process. In 2019 all Cochrane Networks have an objective to evaluate their scope and set out clear priority-setting plans.

Many Cochrane Groups are currently undertaking priority-setting processes and the Cochrane Knowledge Translation Working Group on Embedding Prioritization has developed guidance and resources for Cochrane Groups to support this ( In addition, the Working Group felt it would be useful to encourage discussion about the practicalities of developing and implementing priority-setting plans across Cochrane’s Networks.

Objectives: to provide a forum for discussion and exchange for Cochrane Groups to:
- share successes and lessons learnt from experiences so far;
- seek advice from peers to overcome challenges in the priority-setting process;
- discuss ways to encourage input from stakeholders.

Description: this discussion workshop will encourage each participant to reflect, share experiences and ask questions from whatever stage of the the priority-setting process that they are working on. Each table will focus on a different topic and participants will choose the table they want to sit at according to their interests.

Topics may include the following.
- Scoping a process: identifying the purpose of the priority-setting process, the intersection with existing Cochrane titles, developing the governance structure and resources required and identifying key stakeholders to approach.
- Planning: developing a priority-setting plan according to the time and resources available, including choosing methods to generate a broad list of topics and narrowing this down to a priority list.
- Running the process: sharing experiences on the practicalities of different methods that can be used during the priority-setting process, for example, using stakeholder surveys, Delphi consensus methods or through workshops or face-to-face sessions.
- Documenting and sharing: exploring how to document the results of a priority-setting process, disseminating results back to stakeholders and ideas for building on stakeholder engagement.
- Evaluating priority-setting: discussing ideas for evaluation once the priority-setting process is completed such as monitoring the implementation of the prioritized reviews, monitoring the research field and when to repeat the process.

A facilitator, experienced in priority setting, will lead each table and help to structure discussions and encourage participation.