This review aims to identify Southern organisations providing rapid evidence-synthesis and response services supporting governments in low- and middle-income countries, especially in Bangladesh, Ghana, Iraq, Kenya, Malawi, Pakistan, Rwanda, South Sudan, Syria, Uganda, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe. As a result, it focuses on a desk-based review of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), think tanks, and grey literature, examining the websites of organisations in the focus countries for relevant programming.
In general, several think tanks and organisations that work to connect evidence with policy and decision-making in some way in their remit and aims were identified in each of the focus countries (except Syria). However, rapid response services were harder to identify, especially given the lack of a common definition of such a service. Services which explicitly mentioned they were rapid or were demand-driven and responding to the needs of policymakers were included. Many of the websites were difficult to navigate, or it was hard to find relevant information on current projects. The review is therefore not exhaustive but provides an overview of the main publicly available information about rapid evidence-synthesis and response services. The review also highlights where organisations have pivoted their work and these services towards Covid-19. However, it was not possible in the time available to explore how these are contributing to a better understand of the socioeconomic impacts of the pandemic.