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How to make evidence an essential part of decision-making

Alliance for Useful Evidence Scottish Lead, Pippa Coutts says evidence has a critical role to play in policy and practice decision-making. In her latest blog, published by the NSPCC, she usefully scopes the challenges and opportunities for increasing evidence use, and helpfully offers up practical tools, tips, and tricks for stimulating the use and demand of evidence more effectively.

What’s Happening on Wellbeing across the UK?

Whatever happens after the general election, we can be sure about one thing. Wellbeing and the evidence ecosystem will be at the heart of social policy making not just in Westminster but also across the UK. So if you want a quick primer on the exciting developments in this field, check out the range of videos from a recent roundtable organised by the Evidence Exchange project. The event, held in Belfast on 12 March 2015, brought together key experts from Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, to share evidence on the use of wellbeing as a purpose for government across the UK.

Wellbeing needs a more joined up approach

Wellbeing: what does it mean, how can it be measured and what would the impact of embedding it in policy and practice be? A What Works Centre for Wellbeing could help answer these questions by supporting the use of wellbeing evidence in policy and practice as well as linking organisations, previously unaware of each other’s work, argues Lauren Pennycook.

1. Putting well-being at the heart of education: all aboard the bandwagon!

Adrian Bethune argues that the happiness and well-being of our children should be the main aim and purpose of our education system and a What Works Centre for well-being will lead the way - gathering the evidence that boosting a child's well-being often boosts their academic performance too. He asks: will you get on board too or risk being left behind?

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).

6. Evidence and well-being: why we need to listen to local politicians

The usual Whitehall default towards centralisation should be avoided so that we include more local voices – including politicians - in any What Works Centre for well-being because local relationships are deeper and more long term, there is an opportunity to develop more radical solutions to improving well-being that the sound bite world of Westminster struggles to achieve, argues Professor Mark Gamsu

The time is ripe for evidence

Rebecca Kilburn and Michael Frearson from RAND consider in this guest blog how the European Commission is exploring child well-being, particularly through evidence-based policy and the new European Platform for Investing in Children.


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