We are named in honour of Dr. Donald T. Campbell (1916-1996), a member of the National Academy of Sciences in the USA. He advocated the idea that governmental reforms can be seen as societal experiments to which scientific rules of evidence can be applied. He believed that scientific evidence could be generated to estimate the effects of governmental reforms, resulting in better informed policy and practice and ultimately improving people's well being.
The Campbell Collaboration grew out of a meeting in London in 1999. Eighty people from four countries attended the meeting, many from our sibling organization The Cochrane Collaboration. Cochrane had been producing systematic reviews in healthcare, since 1994, and many of its members saw the need for an organization that would produce systematic reviews of research evidence on the effectiveness of social interventions.
Support for this idea from social and behavioural scientists and social practitioners led to the creation of The Campbell Collaboration in 2000. The inaugural meeting in Philadelphia, USA, attracted 85 participants from 13 countries.
With partnerships developing in a number of countries, Campbell has held fourteen Annual Colloquia to date. Read more about The Campbell Collaboration's Annual Colloquium.
A Nordic Campbell Centre was added to the collaboration in 2001, supported by the Danish Government and the Nordic Council of Ministers. A national Campbell UK and Ireland centre was established in 2017, and is hosted hosted by the Centre for Evidence and Social Innovation (CESI) at Queen's University in Belfast.
Article from the American Psychological Association (Sadie Dingfelder)
"Reflections on the Genesis of the Campbell Collaboration" (Anthony Petrosino)