This paper outlines why we need new institutions and ways of working to make evidence a fundamental part of the policy making process.
- There is an imperative for new evidence centres to broker the divide the divide between research and practice, much akin to the role of NICE play in health, across other areas of social policy
- These new evidence centres should advance research methods, undertake evidence translation, ensure high quality and rigour and allocate kitemarking and accreditation
- The paper contains a review of the existing evidence centres that these new “NICE for social policy” could learn from and collaborate with
There has been much discussion about whether we need a NICE for social policy. By this, people mean an equivalent to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), which provides evidence to the NHS on which drugs and treatments are cost effective.
The suggestion is that a NICE for social policy could be created to improve the ways evidence is used and made useful in other areas of policy. This is a timely debate, although NICE can't be copied wholesale, we do believe that the strong interconnections between evidence and practice across much of the UK healthcare system should be our aspiration in other areas of social and public policy.
This paper outlines why we need to explore a centre or a network of evidence centres which help to institutionalise evidence in the decision making process.