Articles Day 10: developing a UK Alliance for Useful Evidence

Day 10: developing a UK Alliance for Useful Evidence


We are delighted to announce that we are working with the ESRC – and others – to create an Alliance for Useful Evidence.

As the past few days have shown there are a number of issues and challenges that can prevent evidence being used in decision making. We believe that many of these are not insurmountable and that we need to actively overcome them to ensure that high quality evidence can have a positive impact on our public services. We are building the UK Alliance for Useful Evidence to fill this role.

The Alliance for Useful Evidence will be a global community of individuals and organisations – from academia, government, third sector, think tanks, service providers, funders, and more – with a commitment to developing the evidence base to ensure decision making across our public services draws upon the most effective approaches and solutions.

The UK Alliance for Evidence will provide a much needed focal point for driving the evidence agenda in the UK. We are announcing the UK Alliance for Evidence at an event at NESTA on 24 October 2011 and will start recruiting members. We believe there is huge value in developing a collective voice to advocate for decision makers to generate and use rigorous evidence, and to also aid collaboration and knowledge sharing across the Alliance. We have already received a great deal of interest from organisations from around the world, and of course, we are partnering with the US Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy to learn from their expertise and involvement in the Obama evidence reforms.

We recognise that this agenda is not new. We also recognise that there are lots of organisations doing excellent work in this field. The Alliance for Useful Evidence will not compete with or replace these; instead it is our intention to forge linkages with them, promoting learning and collaboration across different areas of social policy.

Our aim is not to promote any particular method, but rather to act with others as an honest broker, raising the quality of both the supply of research and also the demand for it. We need to ensure that evidence is commissioned and carried out in ways that make it more likely to be used and useful; and we need to work with the users of evidence to make it easier for them to act on what’s known. We recognise that even the best evidence can be imperfect or incomplete, but it’s no longer legitimate for any members of the public, government and others to be ignorant of it.

Thank you for all the comments we have received about the blog series and the development of the UK Alliance for Useful Evidence. We hope you can join on Monday, 24 October for an event with Sir Michael Rutter and Ron Haskins, to discuss the evidence agenda in the UK and also the Obama Administration’s evidence reforms. If you are able to attend, please register here.