Digital Public Defence: Heather Menzies Munthe-Kaas

MSc Heather Menzies Munthe-Kaas at Institute of Health and Society will be defending the thesis "Exploring the development of the GRADE-CERQual and TRANSFER approaches to enhance accountability for reasonableness in evidence-informed decision-making processes" for the degree of Dr.Philos. (Doctor Philosophiae). 

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The public defence will be held as a video conference over Zoom.

The defence will follow regular procedure as far as possible, hence it will be open to the public and the audience can ask ex auditorio questions when invited to do so.

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Due to copyright reasons, an electronic copy of the thesis must be ordered from the faculty. In order for the faculty to have time to process the order, it must be received by the faculty no later than 2 days prior to the public defence. Orders received later than 2 days before the defence will not be processed. Inquiries regarding the thesis after the public defence must be addressed to the candidate.

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Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Professor Hans Lund, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Bergen
  • Second opponent: Doctor Tamara Kredo, South African Medical Research Council, Tygerberg
  • Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Associate Professor Anja Maria Lyche Brænd, Institute of Health and Society, University of Oslo

Chair of defence

Associate Professor Atle Klovning, Institute of Health and Society, University of Oslo


Policy makers are increasingly using evidence from systematic reviews when making decisions about health and social welfare interventions. Using scientific evidence can help ensure that decision-making processes are legitimate and transparent. But the voices of those affected by interventions also needs to be represented in these processes. Heather Munthe-Kaas describes two approaches for improving the systematic and transparent representation of stakeholder voices in evidence-informed decision-making processes. 

Including qualitative evidence in decision-making processes is one approach to facilitating the representation of stakeholder voices. The GRADE-CERQual approach is a systematic and transparent approach for assessing confidence in evidence from reviews of qualitative research. It is intended to aid the use of qualitative research in decision-making processes and thereby help ensure that a broad range of end user perspectives and experiences are represented. 

While findings from systematic reviews may be based on data from a variety of contexts, decision makers need to consider how these findings may transfer to their own context. The TRANSFER Approach provides practical guidance on how to collaborate systematically with stakeholders to consider these contextual factors and the transferability of review findings.

The practical needs of review authors drove the development of the GRADE-CERQual and TRANSFER approaches. The methods used to develop these approaches included stakeholder brainstorming sessions, systematic reviews and user testing. 

The work in this thesis is premised on the idea that evidence-informed decision-making processes should be viewed as fair and legitimate. GRADE-CERQual and TRANSFER are intended to enhance the fairness and legitimacy of decision-making processes by facilitating meaningful stakeholder representation throughout the evidence-informed decision-making process. 

Additional information

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Published Aug. 19, 2021 9:35 AM - Last modified Sep. 9, 2021 1:03 PM