Knowledge synthesis for environmental decisions: an evaluation of existing methods, and guidance for their selection, use and development - a report from the EKLIPSE project

L. V. Dicks, N. Haddaway, M. Hernández-Morcillo, B. Mattsson, N. Randall, Pierre Failler, J. Ferretti, B. Livoreil, H. Saarikoski, L. Santamaria, R. Rodela, E. Velizarova, H. Wittmer

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

Abstract

‘Knowledge synthesis’ refers to a set of methods used to review, collate and communicate the best available knowledge on a specific topic or question, including explicit scientific knowledge, but also indigenous and local knowledge, or tacit technical or opinion-based knowledge held by stakeholders. The process of knowledge synthesis is a crucial element of any science-policy interface.


Knowledge synthesis is a rapidly developing research field in both the environmental and health sciences, in response to long-term drivers for evidence-based policy. A wide range of knowledge synthesis methods (KSM) have been identified, discussed, tested and are frequently used to inform policy. For some of the methods, particularly systematic reviews and meta-analyses, clear methodological guidance and training are widely available (see, for example, Collaboration for Environmental Evidence, 2013; Koricheva et al., 2013).
There has been some recent effort in the environmental science literature to provide an overview of different KSMs, what types of questions they are useful for and how they articulate together (Dicks et al., 2014; Pullin et al., 2016). However, at present there is no resource that brings together methodological guidance with an assessment of the features, strengths and weaknesses of the different methods in widespread use.


The goal of the EKLIPSE project is to bring scientists, policy-makers and others together, to ensure that decisions that affect the environment are made with the best available knowledge. Part of this activity relies on selecting an appropriate and feasible KSM or set of KSMs for each specific request or decision. The EKLIPSE project formed an Expert Working Group on Knowledge Synthesis Methods to compile guidance on available KSMs, and develop a process for selecting among them. This report is the first output from the Expert Group on Knowledge Synthesis Methods.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherEKLIPSE
Number of pages84
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameHorizon 2020
PublisherEuropean Union Funding for Research & Innovation
No.690474

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