Mistra EviEM’s mission is largely new of its kind in Sweden, but modelled on organisations abroad and in other subject areas.
In medicine, evidence-based methods have been well established for decades. In this country there is a special government agency, the Swedish Council on Technology Assessment in Health Care (SBU), which has the function of critically examining medical treatments and other working methods in the care sector. In recent years, the National Board of Health and Welfare, too, has started developing evidence-based methods for social work.
There are also international networks, the Cochrane Collaboration and Campbell Collaboration, that publish systematic reviews in the areas of medicine and social affairs respectively. Based on the Cochrane Collaboration model, a corresponding body in the environmental sector — the Collaboration for Environmental Evidence (CEE) — was founded in 2007. The driving force in this network is the Centre for Evidence-based Conservation (CEBC) at Bangor University in Wales. This centre is perhaps the key model for Mistra EviEM.
Within the framework of the CEE, some 40 systematic reviews of environmental questions have been conducted in various parts of the world in recent years. This network has also developed a guide to systematic reviews that is highly useful to EviEM. The SBU handbook on reviewing work methods in healthcare also contains a great deal that is relevant to the environmental field as well.
Valuable methodological development for systematic reviews in the social sciences is under way at the Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Co-ordinating Centre (EPPI-Centre) at the University of London.