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Top 10 resources on the use of evidence

If, like us, you’re always hunting for useful resources on the effective use of evidence, then have a look at these reference documents.

In recent years, there has been a welcome increase in the publication of this guidance material and, as we receive lots of requests for this type of information, I thought I would share our top 10 guides to improving the quality, design and methods for effective evidence use.

Now of course, this short list is just the tip of the iceberg and, as we’re UK based, it reflects this bias – so please share with us any other suggestions, which we will then publish in future blogs.

In the meantime, hopefully the following resources will be of use in your work.

Top 10 resources on the use of evidence

The Bond Evidence Principles and checklist. Specially designed for NGOs, this guide can assist in assessing and improving the quality of evidence in evaluation reports, research reports and case studies.

Evidence for Success: The guide to getting evidence and using it. A practical guide for third sector organisations from Evaluation Support Scotland and the Knowledge Transition Network.

Guidance from the Medical Research Council on developing and evaluating complex interventions. This guide examines the development, evaluation and implementation of complex interventions to improve health.

The Government Chief Scientific Adviser’s guidelines on the use of scientific and engineering advice in policy making. A useful guide, if a bit dated, as first published in 2010.

National Institute for Health and Care (NICE) – The guidelines manual. Useful section reviewing the steps involved in reviewing evidence.

Department for International Development (DFID) – How to Note: Assessing the Strength of Evidence. Although this guide examines the best ways to assess evidence for those working on international development programmes, it has a general application for researchers and policymakers.

The Magenta Book: Guidance for Evaluation. This key guidance from HM Treasury is organised around a number of frequently asked questions about policy evaluation and analysis.

Quality in policy impact evaluation; understanding the effects of policy from other influences. This is a supplement to the Magenta Book and provides a guide to the quality of impact evaluation designs.

And last but definitely not least, we’re not shy to plug these two guides:

Using Evidence: What Works. A discussion paper from Jonathan Breckon and Jane Dodson of the Alliance for Useful Evidence, first published in April 2016.

Using Research Evidence: A Practice Guide. This resource, produced by the Alliance for Useful Evidence and Nesta’s Innovation Skills team, considers the different types of evidence, how to judge its quality and effectively use it.

Want to suggest another guide? Feel free to send it to us and we’ll do our best to include it in our updates.

If you are interested in promoting useful evidence in decision making and gaining access to our publications and events, simply sign up for free membership to the Alliance for Useful Evidence.

This blog was originally published on the Alliance for Useful Evidence site.


Peter O'Neill

Peter O'Neill

Peter O'Neill

Northern Ireland Manager, Alliance for Useful Evidence

Peter was the Northern Ireland lead for the Alliance for Useful Evidence. The Alliance for Useful Evidence is an open access network of more than 3,000 individuals from across governme…

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