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Is there is a question about our demand for evidence and strategy in politics?

Political and cultural blogger, Alan Meban delivers his reflections from an Alliance hosted debate asking: How can government make the best use of evidence? In this blog he shares an interesting mix of personal observations and insights from both within and outside of government on the interface between analysts, academia, and policy.

Why does evidence matter? Because it transforms ambition into action

Ahead of the Early Intervention Foundation's annual national conference in May 2017, Director of Evidence, Tom McBride tells us why evidence matters at a time of rising demand in public services, managing smaller budgets, and the need to understand what works becomes ever more critical.

The Scottish Approach to Evidence: partnership and participation

Alliance for Useful Evidence Scottish Lead, and co-author of new report with the Carnegie UK Trust 'The Scottish Approach to Evidence' Pippa Coutts, makes the case for different evidence types to reflect the increasing complexity of our public services and the shift towards more integrated and participative approaches. In her latest blog, she lays out five key steps to enable that shift and urges evidence champions and opinion leaders to help further the evidence agenda.

When did it become trendy to start slating randomised controlled trials?

The current anti-Randomised Controlled Trials bandwagon is neither helpful nor accurate, explains Toby Blume, Co-Founder of Behaviour change agency, the Social Engine. In this candid blog, he acknowledges the on-going and highly publicised criticism of RCTs, and presents a compelling case for how RCTs significantly enhance current evaluation practice within a context of increasingly complex social challenges which require effective interventions, and without needing to be overly complicated, exclusive, or costly.

Evidence is a journey. Should it lead to proving or improving?

If you view gathering evidence as simply a means of demonstrating outcomes, you're missing a trick. It's most valuable when part of a journey of iterative improvement, writes Frances Flaxington, Strategic Director for Catch 22. In this blog, she uses the example of their Realising Ambition programme, which helps young people to avoid pathways to demonstrate the messiness of evidence use, as well as its invaluable ability to support service delivery refinement and adaptation.

Deepening interactions between academia and the third sector

Jenny Brotchie, Carnegie UK Trust Policy Officer, argues that to increase the impact of research we need practical actions to link academia and the third sector. In this blog she makes the case for more cross-sector collaboration and behaviour change, in order to better connect academic evidence and research to practice 'on the ground' in the third sector.

Reflections on a real-world RCT

Gracia McGrath, CEO of Chance UK, reflects on the early intervention charity's experience of running a randomised control trial, as part of the Realising Ambition programme.

Kids Company: what are the lessons?

Now, more than ever, charities of every size are expected to provide evidence of impact. Tony Munton suggests that a system of peer review, and better use of existing research, would help charities achieve cost-effective, credible evidence.

Making charities’ research more findable and useful

Great work could be going unnoticed because research about it is difficult to find and hard to understand, writes Caroline Fiennes, Director of Giving Evidence. Suspecting this, Giving Evidence has been exploring how to overcome these barriers, starting in the UK’s criminal justice sector. Find out how a checklist for research reports and meta-data tagging could help, and how these ideas could extend to your sector.

5. A What Works Centre for Well-being: why does Citizens Advice need to know what works?

Our clients have complex lives and well-being can be both a driver for, and a consequence of the problems clients come to see us about. Understanding how far our services can measure and potentially improve well-being is vital. Evidence, argues Tamsin Shuker, will allow us to understand the needs of our clients, to determine what interventions are most effective in affecting well-being, and demonstrate the value of those interventions to funders (to ensure we can continue to provide them).

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