We are named in honour of Donald T. Campbell (1916-1996), a member of the National Academy of Sciences in the USA. Donald Campbell 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 organisation The Cochrane Collaboration. Cochrane had been producing systematic reviews in healthcare since 1994, and many of its members saw the need for an organisation 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.
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, in the UK. In 2019, the Campbell South Asia regional centre was established in New Delhi, India.
- Littell, J. H., & White, H. (2018). The Campbell Collaboration: Providing Better Evidence for a Better World. Research on Social Work Practice, 28(1), 6–12. https://doi.org/10.1177/1049731517703748
- Dingfelder, S. F. (2004, December). The significance of null. Monitor on Psychology, 35(11). http://www.apa.org/monitor/dec04/null
- Petrosino, A. (2013). Reflections on the genesis of the Campbell Collaboration. The Experimental Criminologist, 8(2), 9-12.