The Environmental Evaluators Network (EEN), with support from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and European Environment Agency (EEA), is proposing to explore the collaborative development of an Architecture of Environmental Evaluation (ArchEE) as a systemic approach to help meet demands for better evaluation, evidence-based management and improved transfer and use of evaluative knowledge in environmental management. ArchEE, which will include a repository of relevant evaluations, will serve as an open access inventory of evaluative knowledge that is used to facilitate systematic improvement and systemic change in environmental management. EPA and EEA are organizing a small workshop aimed at taking the next steps in the conceptualization and design of ArchEE.
EEN participants have discussed the need for an inventory of environmental evaluation for many years. Recently, various individuals and groups have coordinated to test aspects of the initiative and begin the conceptualization process, taking the following steps:
- Hosting a session at the EEN Pacific Forum in September 2013. Session notes identify challenges and opportunities.
- Composing an initial draft proposal of the ArchEE concept.
- Coordinating with a knowledge management firm (Issuelab) with common interests (e.g. access and transfer of knowledge). This synthesis report and interactive graphic of key learning and success factors were generated from a large collection of reports similar to the proposed repository of environmental evaluations.
- Conducting social network analysis of US EEN Pacific Forum participants.
- Conducting a systematic and replicable search of environmental peer reviewed literature, inventorying approximately 2,000 papers related to environmental evaluation published between 2000 and 2010.
- Conducting a cursory search for sources of environmental evaluations, generating a list of about 50 websites that link to multiple evaluation reports.
- Conducting reviews of four existing repositories of evidence that could inform the development of ArchEE.