Prof John Lavis is a distinguished visiting professor at the Faculty of Humanities, University of Johannesburg.

He holds the Canada Research Chair in Evidence-Informed Health Systems, is Professor in the Department of Health Evidence and Impact, a Member of the Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis, and Associate Member of the Department of Political Science at McMaster University. He is Associate Director of the Michael G. DeGroote Cochrane Canada Centre and also is the Director of the McMaster Health Forum. He co-directs the WHO Collaborating Centre for Evidence-Informed Policy and is co-chair of the WHO-sponsored Evidence-Informed Policy Network (EVIPNet) Global Steering Group.

He is committed to helping policy-makers and stakeholders to: 1) learn how to make decisions based on the best available research evidence; 2) find evidence through the McMaster Health Forum’s own products and the best available sources of pre-appraised, synthesised research evidence (including the Forum’s Health Systems Evidence, and Social Systems Evidence, and the Forum-supported and citizen-targeted McMaster Optimal Aging Portal); 3) spark action through stakeholder dialogues, citizen panels and more; 4) embed supports for evidence-informed decision- making, by institutionalising promising and proven approaches; and 5) evaluate innovations in supporting evidence-informed decision-making.

Prof Sandy Oliver is a distinguished visiting professor at the Faculty of Humanities, University of Johannesburg.

She is Director of the Social Science Research Unit, and Deputy Director of the EPPI- Centre (Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Coordinating Centre), at UCL Institute of Education, London.

For thirty years, her interests have focused on the interaction between researchers and people making decisions in their professional and personal lives. With this in mind she has been developing methods to collate knowledge from whole bodies of research – systematic reviews – not just single studies. Most recently this has been in the area of international health systems and development where she has conducted systematic reviews and built up a programme of support for research teams conducting reviews elsewhere. She is a member of the Board of the Campbell Collaboration, a Cochrane editor with their Consumers and Communication Review Group, and a member of the Centre for Excellence in Development Impact and Learning. She has been working with the UK Department for International Development, the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research at WHO, and the Research, Evidence and Development Initiative (READ-It)  to strengthen capacity in systematic reviewing in low- and middle-income countries.