Bold Thinking in Action
Abt Associates recently hosted its seventh event as part of its Bold Thinker Series (BTS)—a forum for convening industry thought leaders to share forward-looking perspectives in the areas of health, social and environmental policy, and international development. We have covered a variety of topics from our first on public-private partnerships to more recent events examining global health security and coastal restoration.
The BTS events provide an opportunity for interested parties to engage, network, and exchange dialogue on today’s most pressing global issues. Our format includes a keynote speaker followed by two expert panels that 1) discuss the research that is foundational to the topic area, and 2) discuss innovations in programming, technology, or communications that can help address the issue or advance the field. In addition to a robust conference and events program, we also provide a myriad of strategies to engage key stakeholders including—webinars, expert panels, learning collaboratives, and roundtable discussions.
Convening Expert Panels
Whether the objective is to convene industry leaders, expert researchers, or other diverse populations, all audiences belong to a community that—when appropriately engaged—can provide valuable insights to help steer programs and policies in the right direction. Abt delivers stakeholder engagement strategies that leverage the use of panel discussions to convene experts to debate and discuss various methodologies and recommendations when specialized input is necessary to evaluate a particular topic. We provide the full spectrum of panel support including panelist identification, logistics planning, program and content development, and event format design. We have included a snapshot of two projects in which panels were convened.
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF)
Scientific Resource Center Technical Expert Panels
The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has set the gold standard for the rigorous use of evidence in making clinical practice recommendations in the U.S. In recent years, the evidence-based approach to clinical recommendations has rapidly changed and the USPSTF has experienced increased scrutiny as its recommendations have become the basis for coverage and quality measures under the Affordable Care Act. To help USPSTF maintain its stature and credibility, Abt convened two Technical Expert Panels to evaluate its methods and processes and to provide recommendations to make them more transparent to the public and stakeholders. Panel conclusions led to updates to the Conflict of Interest Policies for USPSTF members, Active Surveillance activities, and updates to the Topic Nomination and Development process. Abt also coordinated an expert forum on behavioral counseling interventions in primary care.
Millennium Challenge Corporation
Agricultural IQC Expert Review Panels
The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) provides assistance to countries that support poverty reduction through economic growth. Abt provides consulting services for short- and long-term assignments to evaluate the technical, economic, and social aspects of project proposals (due diligence) during the Compact process with MCC eligible countries. Abt manages expert review panels and workshops on behalf of MCC countries that monitor and evaluate four program areas: Rural infrastructure, agricultural productivity, agricultural market chain, and land tenure. Abt conducts working sessions or training with MCC staff and country counterparts, organizing outreach and orientation on the evaluation design furthered examined by the expert panels.