Environmental analysis process

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Proposals and priorities

We gladly accept suggestions, provided to us using the form below, for questions that we can investigate. We gather the questions that we receive and send them to the environmental objectives working group, who analyse the needs and prioritise the questions. The working group consists of representatives from all government agencies and county administrative boards that have oversight responsibilities for the environmental objectives. Formas analysts then make an initial assessment of the extent to which the prioritised issues have been investigated in scientific studies. Our council for evidence-based environmental analysis then determines which questions we should investigate in a feasibility study.

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Feasibility study

In a feasibility study, we conduct limited searches of scientific publications to assess the number and nature of the studies that can answer the question. If several studies have been conducted in a similar way, then the question can be answered using a so-called systematic review, in which we report what the aggregate scientific literature says on the question. Some broader questions are more appropriately investigated using a systematic map. In a map, we do not aggregate the results but instead report what studies have been conducted and identify any knowledge gaps. Based on the feasibility study’s conclusions, our council for evidence-based environmental analysis decides whether to further investigate the question and, if so, in what form.

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Planning 

We create an implementation plan for the systematic review or map together with researchers and stakeholders such as government agency representatives, county administrative boards and special interest groups. The plan describes the methods we will use and the limitations of scope. The plan also contains the criteria that must be met to determine whether a study is relevant for the question and can provide reliable results. External independent experts review the implementation plan. They verify whether all important aspects of the question have been considered and whether a systematic review or systematic map can be conducted correctly.

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Implementation

When we conduct a systematic review or systematic map, we include extensive searches for scientific and other literature, such as government reports and consultant reports. We review the literature together with scientists to determine whether it is relevant for the question and whether the results are reliable. Data from the studies that meet the relevance and quality criteria are reported and analysed. Where appropriate, we can compile quantitative data from several different studies in a meta-analysis to show what the aggregate research is all about. The systematic review or map is then reviewed by stakeholders and by the external independent experts. Implementation is a time-consuming activity that takes about one year to complete.

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Publication

The council for evidence-based environmental analysis determines the conclusions of the systematic review or map, which is then published on the Formas website.

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Page manager: Erik Eriksson
Updated:29 July 2019