Skip to content

How to use research evidence to improve your work

We’re pleased to announce the launch of the latest publication in our series of practice guides - Using Research Evidence. Created by the Alliance for Useful Evidence and Nesta, the guide has been designed to help you improve the way you work by using evidence effectively.

Evidence can help you make better decisions. Whether it’s in a police station, a school classroom or the boardroom of a charity, using research-based evidence can help improve outcomes. It is helpful not only in frontline service-delivery, but also in creating smarter organisations – charities, local authorities, government departments – and in developing national policies or charity campaigns.

It is also useful not only to you as a decision-maker, but to the citizens, voters, donors and wider public you are trying to support. Evidence can show if your services are working (or failing), save money, and align services with public needs.

The guide is aimed at those working in government, charities, voluntary organisations, professional membership bodies and local authorities. It will help you to:

  • Learn about evidence-informed decision-making, and why research is an essential element of it.
  • Understand the different scenarios in which using evidence can help you, as well as the types of evidence you might need at different stages of development.
  • Explore different types of evidence, how to choose the most appropriate and how to judge its quality.
  • Get advice on finding the right evidence to support your case, and how to get your message across once you have it.

If you are interested in promoting useful evidence in decision-making, then you can join the Alliance for Useful Evidence. Membership is free and open to any individual or organisation. Find out more on the Alliance website.

This new publication is the fifth in our practice guide series. The series has been created to help you explore different innovation methods and approaches and to help you start trying them for yourself. Click below to read the others:

As we continue to develop our practice guides series, we greatly appreciate any feedback or comments. Please get in touch by emailing [email protected], or visit the Innovation Skills section of the Nesta website.

Download the report here.


Isobel Roberts

Isobel Roberts

Isobel Roberts

Content and Communications Manager, Innovation Skills

Isobel works in the Innovation Skills team as Content and Communications Manager, helping to build Nesta's learning and development offering.

View profile
Jonathan Breckon

Jonathan Breckon

Jonathan Breckon

Director, Alliance for Useful Evidence

Jonathan Breckon has 15 years experience in policy, research and public affairs.

View profile