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Nesta Sparks is a new series of informal learning sessions we are running to share our practical knowledge around different ways to innovate.

Using evidence is important for good decision-making – this much is news to no one. It helps us to understand what works and challenges what we might think is common sense. For instance, it may sound like a good idea to increase the amount of police on the streets to reduce crime, or to decrease classroom sizes to increase attainment but the evidence doesn’t necessarily support this.

However, using evidence is far from easy. It is often hard to access and commission, slow to produce and findings are of variable quality. So how do you use it effectively?

In this talk, Jonathan Breckon, Director of the Alliance for Useful Evidence, shared practical advice on how to use evidence in your work for smarter decision-making, including how to choose the most appropriate evidence and how to judge its quality.

We also heard from Tom McBride, Director of Evidence at the Early Intervention Foundation (part of the UK What Works Network) and Sue Holloway, CEO of charity Project Oracle. They shared practical examples, tips and advice about how we can increase evidence-informed decision making across civil society and government.

Nesta Sparks is open to all who are interested in hearing about our approaches and experiences of innovating, and we look forward to seeing you there.