Center for Evidence-based Environmental Policies and Programs (CEEP)
The Center for Evidence-based Environmental Policies and Programs seeks to ensure that environmental policies and programs at the international, federal, state and local levels are based on the best available empirical evidence about what works and under what conditions. In cases where credible evidence does not exist, the Center works to ensure that programs and policies are designed in ways that generate credible evidence about effectiveness. Unlike other environmental research centers, we do not seek to understand the underpinnings of biological or physical processes. In contrast, we seek to understand the way in which policies and programs affect human behavior and, ultimately, environmental outcomes and human welfare.
What We Do
Despite a growing volume of scientific information about environmental conditions, environmental practice and policy-making remains largely experience-based. The dearth of evidence-based practice stems from: (1) limited credible evidence about what works and under what conditions; (2) poor guidance on how environmental practitioners and policy-makers can generate credible evidence through the design and evaluation of environmental policies and programs; (3) poor accessibility of the available evidence among relevant decision-makers; and (4) poor interpretation and presentation of available evidence to decision-makers.
To address these problems, the CEEP seeks to (1) assist governmental and nongovernmental agencies with the design and analysis of quantitative evaluations of program effectiveness; and (2) synthesize and disseminate evidence on issues of greatest concern to environmental policy and practice. Syntheses take the form of systematic reviews, which have their roots in the medical sciences. Systematic reviews provide a rigorous and transparent methodology to assess the available evidence and disseminate it to support practice and policy-making. Starting in 2010, CEEP will also be running training programs for environmental program designers and implementers who are interested to conduct better evaluation of program impacts and engage in evidence-based adaptive management.
Why Georgia State University and the Andrew Young School?
Georgia State University is a Class-1 research university in Atlanta, Georgia. The Andrew Young School of Policy Studies (AYSPS), established just over a decade ago, is a top-25 policy school with broad policy expertise. The faculty and staff at the school have broad experience in experimental and non-experimental evaluations of program and policy effectiveness, as well as public performance management. Environmental policy is one of AYSPS’s focal areas of study, with emphases in air and water resources and ecosystem services. The AYSPS has six existing centers or groups with which CEEP collaborates: environmental policy, experimental economics, fiscal policy, health policy, labor and employment policy, non-profit policy and public performance management. In 2010, AYS will also begin co-hosting an official US Census Research Data Center. CEEP is enmeshed in a broad international network of scientists and policymakers, thus allowing CEEP to coordinate reviews and evaluations on a broad spectrum of topics and disseminate the results widely. This network includes the new international Collaboration for Environmental Evidence, on whose advisory board CEEP member Paul Ferraro sits.