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- PublicationChallenging the "old boys club" in academia: Gender and geographic representation in editorial boards of journals publishing in environmental sciences and public healthIn light of global environmental crises and the need for sustainable development, the fields of public health and environmental sciences have become increasingly interrelated. Both fields require interdisciplinary thinking and global solutions, which is largely directed by scientific progress documented in peer-reviewed journals. Journal editors play a critical role in coordinating and shaping what is accepted as scientific knowledge. Previous research has demonstrated a lack of diversity in the gender and geographic representation of editors across scientific disciplines. This study aimed to explore the diversity of journal editorial boards publishing in environmental science and public health. The Clarivate Journal Citation Reports database was used to identify journals classified as Public, Environmental, and Occupational (PEO) Health, Environmental Studies, or Environmental Sciences. Current EB members were identified from each journal’s publicly available website between 1 March and 31 May 2021. Individuals’ names, editorial board roles, institutional affiliations, geographic locations (city, country), and inferred gender were collected. Binomial 95% confidence intervals were calculated for the proportions of interest. Pearson correlations with false discovery rate adjustment were used to assess the correlation between journal-based indicators and editorial board characteristics. Linear regression and logistic regression models were fitted to further assess the relationship between gender presence, low- and middle-income country (LMIC) presence and several journal and editor-based indicators. After identifying 628 unique journals and excluding discontinued or unavailable journals, 615 journal editorial boards were included. In-depth analysis was conducted on 591 journals with complete gender and geographic data for their 27,772 editors. Overall, the majority of editors were men (65.9%), followed by women (32.9%) and non-binary/other gender minorities (0.05%). 75.5% journal editorial boards (n = 446) were composed of a majority of men (>55% men), whilst only 13.2% (n = 78) demonstrated gender parity (between 45–55% women/gender minorities). Journals categorized as PEO Health had the most gender diversity. Furthermore, 84% of editors (n = 23,280) were based in high-income countries and only 2.5% of journals (n = 15) demonstrated economic parity in their editorial boards (between 45–55% editors from LMICs). Geographically, the majority of editors’ institutions were based in the United Nations (UN) Western Europe and Other region (76.9%), with 35.2% of editors (n = 9,761) coming solely from the United States and 8.6% (n = 2,373) solely from the United Kingdom. None of the editors-in-chief and only 27 editors in total were women based in low-income countries. Through the examination of journal editorial boards, this study exposes the glaring lack of diversity in editorial boards in environmental science and public health, explores the power dynamics affecting the creation and dissemination of knowledge, and proposes concrete actions to remedy these structural inequities in order to inform more equitable, just and impactful knowledge creation.
- PublicationWhat’s in a name? Unpacking ‘Community Blank’ terminology in reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health: a scoping reviewIntroduction: Engaging the community as actors within reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH) programmes (referred to as ‘community blank’) has seen increased implementation in recent years. While evidence suggests these approaches are effective, terminology (such as ‘community engagement,’ ‘community participation,’ ‘community mobilisation,’ and ‘social accountability’) is often used interchangeably across published literature, contributing to a lack of conceptual clarity in practice. The purpose of this review was to describe and clarify varying uses of these terms in the literature by documenting what authors and implementers report they are doing when they use these terms. Methods: Seven academic databases (PubMed/MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Scopus, Web of Science, Global Health), two grey literature databases (OAIster, OpenGrey) and relevant organisation websites were searched for documents that described ‘community blank’ terms in RMNCH interventions. Eligibility criteria included being published between 1975 and 1 October 2021 and reports or studies detailing the activities used in ‘community blank.’ Results: A total of 9779 unique documents were retrieved and screened, with 173 included for analysis. Twenty-four distinct ‘community blank’ terms were used across the documents, falling into 11 broader terms. Use of these terms was distributed across time and all six WHO regions, with ‘community mobilisation’, ‘community engagement’ and ‘community participation’ being the most frequently used terms. While 48 unique activities were described, only 25 activities were mentioned more than twice and 19 of these were attributed to at least three different ‘community blank’ terms. Conclusion: Across the literature, there is inconsistency in the usage of ‘community blank’ terms for RMNCH. There is an observed interchangeable use of terms and a lack of descriptions of these terms provided in the literature. There is a need for RMNCH researchers and practitioners to clarify the descriptions reported and improve the documentation of ‘community blank’ implementation. This can contribute to a better sharing of learning within and across communities and to bringing evidence-based practices to scale. Efforts to improve reporting can be supported with the use of standardised monitoring and evaluation processes and indicators. Therefore, it is recommended that future research endeavours clarify the operational definitions of ‘community blank’ and improve the documentation of its implementation.
Scopus© Citations 2 18
- PublicationA realist review protocol on communications for community engagement in maternal and newborn health programmes in low- and middle-income countriesBackground: Community engagement (CE) has been increasingly implemented across health interventions, including for maternal and newborn health (MNH). This may take various forms, from participatory women’s groups and community health committees to public advocacy days. While research suggests a positive influence of CE on MNH outcomes, such as mortality or care-seeking behaviour, there is a need for further evidence on the processes of CE in different settings in order to inform the future development and implementation of CE across programmes. Communication is an integral component of CE serving as a link between the programme and community. The aim of the realist review described in this protocol is to understand how, why, to what extent, and for whom CE contributes to intended and unintended outcomes in MNH programming, focusing on the communication components of CE. Methods: Realist review methodology will be used to provide a causal understanding of what communication for CE interventions in MNH programming work, for whom, to what extent, why, and how. This will be done by developing and refining programme theories on communications for CE in MNH through a systematic review of the literature and engaging key experts for input and feedback. By extrapolating context-mechanism-outcome configurations, this review seeks to understand how certain contexts trigger or inhibit specific mechanisms and what outcomes this interaction generates when communication in CE interventions is used in MNH programming. Discussion: A realist philosophy is well-suited to address the aims of this study because of the complex nature of CE. The review findings will be used to inform a realist evaluation case study of CE for an MNH programme in order to ascertain transferable findings that can inform and guide engagement activities in various settings. Findings will also be shared with stakeholders and experts involved in the consultative processes of the review (through workshops or policy briefs) in order to ensure the relevance of these findings to policy and practice.
15Scopus© Citations 3
- PublicationCommunity mobilization to strengthen support for appropriate and timely use of antenatal and postnatal care: A review of reviewsBackground: Antenatal care (ANC) and postnatal care (PNC) are critical opportunities for women, babies and parents/families to receive quality care and support from health services. Community-based interventions may improve the accessibility, availability, and acceptance of this vital care. For example, community mobilization strategies have been used to involve and collaborate with women, families and communities to improve maternal and newborn health. Objective: To synthesize existing reviews of evidence on community mobilization strategies that strengthen support for appropriate and timely use of ANC and PNC. Methods: Six databases (MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, PsychINFO, Cochrane Library, PROSPERO) were searched for published reviews that describe community mobilization related strategies for ANC and/or PNC. Reviews were eligible for inclusion if they described any initiatives or strategies targeting the promotion of ANC and/or PNC uptake that included an element of community mobilization in a low- or middle-income country (LMIC), published after 2000. Included reviews were critically appraised according to the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) Checklist for Systematic Reviews and Evidence Syntheses. This review of reviews was conducted following JBI guidelines for undertaking and reporting umbrella reviews. Results: In total 23 papers, representing 22 reviews were included. While all 22 reviews contained some description of community mobilization and ANC/PNC, 13 presented more in-depth details on the community mobilization processes and relevant outcomes. Seventeen reviews focused on ANC, four considered both ANC and PNC, and only one focused on PNC. Overall, 16 reviews reported at least one positive association between community mobilization activities and ANC/PNC uptake, while five reviews presented primary studies with no statistically significant change in ANC uptake and one included a primary study with a decrease in use of antenatal facilities. The community mobilization activities described by the reviews ranged from informative, passive communication to more active, participatory approaches that included engaging individuals or consulting local leaders and community members to develop priorities and action plans. Conclusions: While there is considerable momentum around incorporating community mobilization activities in maternal and newborn health programs, such as improving community support for the uptake of ANC and PNC, there is limited evidence on the processes used. Furthermore, the spectrum of terminology and variation in definitions should be harmonized to guide the implementation and evaluation efforts.
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- PublicationApplying and reporting relevance, richness, and rigour in realist evidence appraisals: Advancing key concepts in realist reviewsThe realist review/synthesis has become an increasingly prominent methodological approach to evidence synthesis that can inform policy and practice. While there are publication standards and guidelines for the conduct of realist reviews, published reviews often provide minimal detail regarding how they have conducted some methodological steps. This includes selecting and appraising evidence sources, which are often considered for their 'relevance, richness, and rigour.' In contrast to other review approaches, for example, narrative reviews and meta-analyses, the inclusion criteria and appraisal of evidence within realist reviews depend less on the study's methodological quality and more on its contribution to our understanding of generative causation, uncovered through the process of retroductive theorising. This research brief aims to discuss the current challenges and practices for appraising documents' relevance, richness, and rigour and to provide pragmatic suggestions for how realist reviewers can put this into practice.
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