What Works South Asia 2023

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What Works South Asia 2023

Evidence-based strategies to enhance development in South Asia

November 28, 2023 November 30, 2023

Campbell South Asia is supporting the evidence revolution in South Asia through its annual What Works South Asia (WWSA) Conference. WWSA is a platform for scholars, experts, and policymakers to explore methodologies, innovations, research gaps, and other subjects in evidence synthesis for development, with a specific emphasis on the challenges faced by low- and middle-income countries.

The theme of the WWSA 2023 was “evidence-based strategies to enhance development in South Asia”. The objective was to advance the comprehension and application of evidence-based approaches to enhance the development of South Asia. Evidence helps decision-makers follow effective strategies, leading to the implementation of better policies for social and economic growth. Evidence synthesis offers a succinct overview of the existing evidence.


The conference brought together a diverse group of stakeholders from various disciplines, including students, academics, researchers, evaluators, and policy-makers.

Other objectives of the event were to:

  • Encourage discussions on research that is effective in South Asia and relevant for policy synthesis
  • Highlight the importance of evidence in decision-making and its role in the process
  • Communicate the significance of evidence-based decision-making to policy-makers and the wider audience in South Asia
  • Promote the formation of partnerships with governments to support evidence-based decision-making.

Some of the themes explored during the conference included evidence in a time of crisis, equality, equity, and development, climate change, biodiversity and conservation, agriculture and development, financing the SDGs, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), health systems and technology, learning outcomes for development, research use at local and global levels and methods for evidence synthesis.

Download the conference brochure


Day 1 | Tuesday, 28 November 2023 

WWSA 2023 officially began on 28 November with an inaugural panel of speakers from Campbell Collaboration, GDN, Lanzhou University and CSA. Other important sessions of the day included the opening plenary on ‘Evidence Revolution in South Asia: Challenges, Prospects and Way Forward’ and a panel discussing the evidence synthesis work done on the partnership pillar of the SDGs. We wrapped up the day with CSA’s in-house expert, Sabina Singh, conducting an hour-long rigorous workshop on qualitative evidence synthesis.


Day 2 | Wednesday, 29 November 2023

Our panel with IDinsight, the Udaiti Foundation, IMAGO Global Grassroots and the Veddis Foundation took a deep-dive into developing a data-driven culture. An engaging conversation ensued on the question of what does it take to generate data the govt needs and how do we empower citizens and communities with data? Day 2 also witnessed a stimulating discussion on evidence synthesis during crisis situations and whether Climate-Smart Agriculture is gender responsive ? The day’s proceedings ended with a detailed workshop on effect size calculation in systematic reviews led by CSA’s Suchi Kapoor Malhotra.

Day 3 | Thursday, 30 November 2023

The final day had a dedicated panel showcasing the wide-ranging research work undertaken through our in-house projects. We also hosted an exciting discussion on health systems and technological innovations. CSA’s Ashima Mohan led an interactive workshop on translating research to policy – from understanding the policy landscape to conceptualising evidence synthesis in different forms. WWSA 2023 ended with an enriching panel on stakeholders in evidence synthesis.

Access the detailed event agenda here. For information on the next WWSA conference, write to [email protected]


November 28, 2023
November 30, 2023
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