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Evidence for Social Policy and Practice

Perspectives on how research and evidence can influence decision making in public services.

Perspectives on how research and evidence can influence decision making in public services.

Key findings:

  • The idea that policy and practice should be underpinned by rigorous evidence is internationally accepted, yet the level of rigour in evaluating ‘what works’ in social policy remains limited. 
  • In a time of public service reform and more decentralised decision making, the need for timely, accessible and reliable evidence is becoming ever more important.
  • This report contains essays from organisations using different methodologies and approaches to generate evidence and influence policy and practice in a number of service areas.

At Nesta we both use and produce evidence through a combination of practical programmes and research projects. We are keen to learn from the organisations featured here – as well as others working in the field – to help strengthen the evidence base and improve the sharing of this knowledge.

 

We recognise that with local autonomy comes an enormous opportunity for innovative approaches to thrive, but in order for this to happen practitioners, commissioners, users and other decision makers must know what works – and what doesn’t.

 

Sharing evidence will help improve outcomes whilst helping to prevent duplicated efforts and wasted resources.

 

Author:

Nesta