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.
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In the lead up to the Innovation Growth Lab's annual conference in June, Nesta's Giulio Quaggiotto and Shatha Alhashmi at the UAE Prime Ministers Office are keen to shine a light on Canada's commitment to experimental government. In their joint blog, they capture some of the interesting insights and lessons 'from the trenches' of Canadian government officials, that are proving to be pertinent across the globe for other governments interested in policy experimentation.
Post general election results, Alliance for Useful Evidence Northern Ireland Manager Peter O'Neil asks a key question of how government can challenge themselves to make the best use of evidence to ensure effective policy-making. In this blog, he highlights the work of the Alliance in promoting this agenda, and makes a strong case for the development of a Northern Ireland What Works Centre.
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.
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.
The early days of devolution failed to deliver on their promise of ‘national laboratories’, where we could test different approaches to public services reform. Now, argues Professor Steve Martin, times have changed and the newly established Public Policy Institute for Wales is ready to support the use of evidence in public policy.
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.
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?
Evaluating a complex community initiative like Well London is always going to be a challenge. A What Works Centre for well-being would, Alison Pearce argues, help organisations to network and share information – getting evidence out of the literature and on to the front line.
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).
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
Professor Henry Overman, the new Director of the What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth, explains more about the Centre and the aims of the Centre for the next three years.