Intended for healthcare professionals


The Campbell Collaboration

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: (Published 11 August 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:294

Does for public policy what Cochrane does for health

  1. Philip Davies (, director of policy evaluation,
  2. Robert Boruch (, university trustee chair professor of education
  1. Centre for Management and PolicyStudies, Cabinet Office, London SW1A 2WH
  2. Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6216, USA

    Evidence based practice has moved beyond the bounds of health care and is now central to public policymaking. In the United Kingdom attempts to modernise government13 emphasise the importance of using evidence of the effectiveness of interventions as part of a drive towards higher quality and “joined up” policymaking. Similar interest in evidence based public policy is apparent in other countries.

    This demand for more, and better, evidence on which to develop public policy requires new sources of valid, reliable, and relevant evidence. One of these sources is the Campbell Collaboration ( This is an international organisation, inspired by the Cochrane Collaboration, which seeks to help policymakers, practitioners, and the public make well informed decisions about policy interventions by preparing, maintaining, and disseminating systematic reviews of the effectiveness of social and behavioural interventions in education, crime and justice, and social welfare.

    Systematic reviews can be a valid and reliable means of avoiding the bias that comes from the fact that single studies are specific to a …

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