Campbell Collaboration

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The Campbell Collaboration describes itself as a "nonprofit organization that aims to help people make well-informed decisions about the effects of interventions in the social, behavioral, and educational arenas."[1] More specifically, it "helps people make well-informed decisions by preparing, maintaining and disseminating systematic reviews in education, crime and justice, social welfare and international development."[2] It is a sister initiative of the Cochrane Collaboration,[3] with a secretariat in Oslo and offices in New Delhi.[4]

The Campbell Collaboration is one of a number of groups promoting evidence-based policy in the social sciences. Although it is an international collaboration, it tends to be focused more on the challenges of developed countries.[5] The International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) and the University of Ottawa established the International Development Coordinating Group (IDCG) in May 2011 to publish reviews on international development topics.


The Campbell Collaboration was created as a result of an exploratory meeting under the aegis of the School of Public Policy at University College London in July 1999.[3][6] The exploratory meeting proved fruitful and the Campbell Collaboration was created in 2000. The inaugural meeting was held at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, United States, on 24–25 February 2000, and attracted 85 participants from 13 countries.[3][6]

The collaboration was named after the American psychologist Donald T. Campbell (1916-1996), a member of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States.[3][6]

In December 2004, the American Psychological Association published an article on the work of the Campbell Collaboration.[7]

In May 2005, a special issue of the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science was devoted to describing what the evidence-based approach of the Cochrane Collaboration and Campbell Collaboration had uncovered.[1][8]

Use by other organizations[edit]

Charity evaluator and effective altruism advocate GiveWell had listed the Campbell Collaboration as one of its sources of information when trying to assess the state of evidence for various social policies and interventions in the United States.[5] GiveWell co-director Holden Karnofsky later clarified that, since the Campbell Collaboration focus areas were not directly pertinent to development economics or improving the lives of poor people, the utility of their research to GiveWell's current areas of focus was limited.[9][10]

Similar organizations[edit]


  1. ^ a b Boruch, Robert. "What is the Campbell Collaboration and how is it helping to identify "what works"?". The Evaluation Exchange, Harvard Family Research Project.
  2. ^ "About Us". The Campbell Collaboration. Archived from the original on 2014-02-03. Retrieved March 26, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d "The Campbell Collaboration". Cochrane Collaboration. Retrieved March 26, 2014.
  4. ^ "Contact us". Campbell Collaboration. Retrieved 2019-04-18.
  5. ^ a b "Criteria for evaluating U.S. programs". GiveWell. 2010. Retrieved March 26, 2014.
  6. ^ a b c "Background". The Campbell Collaboration. Retrieved March 26, 2014.
  7. ^ Dingfelder, Sadie (December 2004). "The significance of null: A group of social scientists hunts down unpublished studies and aims to inform policy through thorough meta-analysis". American Psychological Association. Retrieved March 26, 2014.
  8. ^ Place Randomized Trials: Experimental Tests of Public Policy (The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science Series) [Hardcover]. SAGE publications. May 1, 2005. ISBN 978-1412925815.
  9. ^ Karnofsky, Holden (June 13, 2012). "Comment on Meta-Research blog post". GiveWell. Retrieved March 26, 2014.
  10. ^ "Social Programs that Just Don't Work". GiveWell. Retrieved March 26, 2014.

External links[edit]