CEIPP Member Activities

Rob Richards

‘ENVformed’ – a pro bono collaboration

Rob is currently undertaking an exciting new initiative through his company, Evidentiary. ‘ENVformed’ was launched with the aim of make scientific evidence easy to understand and readily available to members of the community impacted by environmental issues.

ENVformed has just completed the second phase of its first topic, in collaboration with science students from Melbourne’s Monash University. Under a Science Industry Placement Program (SIPP) Evidentiary has sponsored two intakes of students for training and an internship. The project the students have worked on aims to answer the question “Does contact with urban green spaces influence human wellbeing and if so, how and through what mechanisms do they occur?”

The first round of students were provided with training in specialist skills for undertaking evidence based searches. Approximately 15 key international databases were included in the search with items found from the search being assessed for relevance addressing different aspects of wellbeing such as physical, mental, social, intellectual and spiritual wellbeing, as well as the wellbeing benefits of viewing nature.

The second round of students were trained in how to assess the quality of studies found in phase 1 of the project, and over 1000 studies have now been assessed for relevance and quality. It is envisaged that Evidentiary continue to work with Monash University in this partnership program and there have been discussion with Melbourne University regarding a similar arrangement.

Evidentiary is currently looking for partner organisations to do further research into the contextual variables that influence urban green space users’ experience.

Evidence in policy development

Rob has developed and is now running a series of workshops around Australia on policy development and policy project management with a focus on using evidence. As a part of this he is using the “policy & program – Risk and Evidence for Development and Implementation” (p-REDI) approach developed by Evidentiary.