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.
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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.