Advice and advocacy

We always work with others – with champions, partners and other allies. We collaborate to campaign for the better use of research, evidence, evaluation and data, and create partnerships so we can learn from each other.

We’ve partnered with a number of public bodies, charities and organisations, including the NSPCC, the Money Advice Service and the UK Department for Work and Pensions, to offer tailored support on using evidence to better inform their policies and programmes.

We have an open network of more than 3,500 individuals around the world who are interested in championing the use of evidence in social policy and practice; you can explore some of the organisations represented in our network in our interactive map of the UK evidence world.

Monitoring and scrutiny

We collaborate with others to monitor how government and politicians are doing when it comes to using evidence to inform their policies and programmes, for example, through Manifesto Checks for political parties, Evidence Transparency in Government, and a Prize for Politicians, run with the Political Studies Association, which helps us identify good practice by politicians.

Evidence Champions and pledges

Evidence from behavioural insights highlights the importance of the ‘messenger’ and role of social networks in any process designed to change attitudes and behaviours. We believe people are more likely to listen to peers that they can relate to.  It is because of this that we are developing a cross-sectoral network of Evidence Champions. An evidence champion is someone who can raise awareness of the role of evidence and promote the effective use of evidence in policy-making or practice.

We hope the network will support these evidence advocates, who are already making the case for the use of evidence in their own organisations and beyond, and help them have more impact. If you think you might be an Evidence Champion you can find out more and read about our first champions here.

In November 2017, we assembled the leaders of 26 UK and Irish professional bodies representing more than one million professionals to sign an ‘evidence Magna Carta’. Leaders of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, the College of Policing and the Chartered College of Teaching signed the declaration, written by Professor Jonathan Shepherd CBE of Cardiff University.

Together, they declared publicly their expectation that all their members take full account of evidence in their daily decisions and advice, and their intention to support the rigorous evaluation of new interventions. You can find out more and read the full declaration here.

A new What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care

In 2017 we were commissioned by the UK’s Department for Education to lead a consortium, with support from the Social Care Institute for Excellence, Futuregov and the consultancy Traversum, to develop and incubate a new What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care.

The Department for Education has outlined an ambitious brief for the new centre, which is charged with fostering a change in the culture of the children’s social care sector and with making a real difference to practice at the front line.

Our job as the development team is to manage this start-up process, working alongside a separately commissioned research partner that will strengthen the evidence base through new evaluations and trials.

We are excited by this brief. We believe the creation of the new centre needs to be a collaborative effort, rooted in insights drawn from the best of the existing UK What Works Centres around how to be an effective force for evidence-informed change.

Advice and support

As well as offering many free resources on our website, you can also hire our team of experts to work directly with your organisation to deliver tailored support.

We specialise in supporting the smarter use of evidence in social policy and practice, working primarily with organisations in the public and third sectors and other professional bodies, both in the UK and internationally. We can work with you on an advisory basis, or deliver training and skills development for you and your team.

Are you interested in working together? Email the Alliance team at alliance.4usefulevidence@nesta.org.uk to find out more about what we can offer and discuss your needs. We’d love to hear from you!