Evidence Masterclass


The use of evidence is important for good decision-making – this much is news to no one.

Evidence helps us to understand problems and needs, spot opportunities, assess what works, understand how and why it works and make judgements about the better intervention or course of action.

But using evidence is far from easy. It is often hard to access and commission, slow to produce and findings are of variable quality. How do you assess the quality of research, interpret findings and make decisions and changes to policy or practice based on evidence? It’s genuinely difficult.

That’s why we’ve launched the Evidence Masterclass

The Evidence Masterclass is an immersive learning experience for senior decision-makers, including the civil service Policy Profession, heads of small charities, local authority directors and staff in Parliament, who want to confront this problem and become more confident users of research.

The Evidence Masterclass is an innovative approach to learning based on the evidence of what works to support professional development and behaviour change. It puts participants into the thick of real decision-making and the challenge of using evidence and supports them to develop their competency by problem-solving with peers.

At this masterclass, participants will  collaborate with colleagues on a live policy issue around which a difficult decision needs to be made. They’ll be set a challenge that requires them to ask questions, consider a range of evidence and deliberate over the best course of action.
Along the way, participants will be coached and facilitated by an expert team from the Alliance for Useful Evidence who will create a rich learning environment that supports you to:

  • Reflect on the benefits and challenges of using research evidence in developing policy and guidance.
  • Share insights and experiences of evidence-based policy development.
  • Learn more about the use of evidence and become more confident in your approach.

Is the Evidence Masterclass for me?

The masterclass is not aimed at specialist researchers, but those working in social policy and practice who need evidence to help their day-to-day work. For instance: making the case for new policies, programmes and projects; or writing speeches to influence senior audiences; writing a submission of evidence to an parliamentary or assembly inquiry; or drafting of funding bid to major UK charity funder.

The day puts learners into the thick of real decision-making and the challenge of using evidence, supporting them to develop competency and confidence by problem-solving with peers. We want participants who have attended the masterclass to leave feeling comfortable finding and using a range of evidence.


We’ve received  great feedback from DWP participants in the Alliance’s Masterclasses (whether ‘old hands’ or newer to policy roles).  Especially appreciated was the chance to discuss what makes this hard in practice.  You provided us with a great forum to chew over real life challenges with knowledgeable and friendly expert input. Highly recommended.  Sarah Bradley, DWP

Get in touch if you’re interested in attending future sessions or if your organisation would like to partner with the Alliance to deliver the masterclass to professionals in your sector.