Publications A Practical Guide for Establishing an Evidence Centre

A Practical Guide for Establishing an Evidence Centre

Published June 2020

Since 2013, Nesta and the Alliance for Useful Evidence have supported the development of more than eight evidence centres. This report draws on insight from our own experience, published material and interviews with senior leaders from a range of evidence intermediaries.

The report identifies five common ingredients that contribute to successful evidence centres:

  1. Clear objectives: Good knowledge of the centre’s intended user group(s), clear outcomes to work towards and an evidence-informed theory of change.
  2. Robust organisational development: Commitment to create an independent and sustainable organisation with effective governance and the right mix of skills and experience, over a timescale that will be sufficient to make a difference.
  3. Engaged users: Understanding users’ evidence needs and working collaboratively with them to increase their capability, motivation and opportunity to use evidence in their decision-making.
  4. Rigorous curation and creation of evidence: A robust and transparent approach to selecting and generating high-quality evidence for the centre’s users.
  5. A focus on impact: Commitment to learn from the centre’s activities, including successes and failures, so that you can increase your effectiveness in achieving your objectives.