The Alliance for Useful Evidence was a network, hosted by Nesta, that championed the smarter use of evidence in social policy and practice.

The idea that social policy and practice should be underpinned by rigorous evidence is internationally accepted, yet billions of pounds are spent each year on programmes with little rigorous evidence on the impacts of these initiatives. And despite decades of producing excellent research, we still encounter problems of getting this integrated into decision-making.

The Alliance for Useful Evidence championed and supported the smarter use of evidence in social policy and practice through three core activities:

Research and ideas

We produced research, discussion papers, guides, and case studies, and monitored evidence-use by government and politicians. We convened small groups on specialist topics in roundtables, as well as large conferences and summits, to encourage debate, discussion, collaboration and innovation, and to share insights on what works (and what doesn’t). For example, our Evidence vs Democracy report set out the case for how mini-publics can help democracy connect with evidence.

Training and skills

We delivered a range of training courses and workshops, from our flagship Evidence Masterclass, to more bespoke strategic support such as our theory of change workshops. We also offered free downloadable resources, including the heavily downloaded Using Research Evidence practice guide.

Advice and advocacy

We always worked with others – with champions, partners and allies. We collaborated to campaign for the better use of research, evidence, evaluation and data to inform social policies and programmes – for example, on Manifesto Checks for political parties, Evidence Transparency in Government, and a Best Use of Evidence Prize for Politicians – and we advised organisations on how to use evidence effectively.

Project partners

Team

Jonathan Breckon

Jonathan Breckon

Jonathan Breckon

Director, Alliance for Useful Evidence

Jonathan was the Director of the Alliance for Useful Evidence from 2012 to 2021.

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Helen Mthiyane

Helen Mthiyane

Helen Mthiyane

Programme Manager, Alliance for Useful Evidence

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Louise Bazalgette

Louise Bazalgette

Louise Bazalgette

Deputy Director, A Fairer Start mission

Louise works as part of a multi-disciplinary innovation team focused on narrowing the outcome gap for disadvantaged children.

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Georgia Parry

Georgia Parry

Georgia Parry

Coordinator, What Works Centre for Children's Social Care

Georgia's role is to support and coordinate the consortium in setting up the WWCCSC. Coordinate the team activities around mobilisation, set up and early life activities of the What Wo…

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Anna Hopkins

Anna Hopkins

Anna Hopkins

Researcher, Alliance for Useful Evidence

Anna's role involved conducting research and writing reports and case-studies to champion the use of evidence in social policy and practice.

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Kuranda Morgan

Kuranda Morgan

Kuranda Morgan

Evidence Lead, Evidence and Experimentation

Kuranda works as the Evidence Lead in the Innovation Skills team helping to design and deliver the Evidence Masterclass as part of the Alliance for Useful Evidence.

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Julia Blom

Julia Blom

Julia Blom

Assistant Programme Manager, A Healthy Life mission

As Assistant Programme Manager, Julia supports the day to day running of programmes and projects within the Healthy Life mission, and helps the team to function effectively.

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