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CaSE launches new report on evidence in policymaking for UK government

24 Apr 2017

CaSE has today launched its new report, Improving use of evidence in UK government policymaking, produced in collaboration with University College London.

As part of CaSE’s work on science advice in government, this report explores current structures, processes and practice and and looks for opportunities to strengthen and improve them across government.

The report makes 14 recommendations to improve the use of evidence in UK Government policymaking under three themes: architecture; supply and demand; and evaluation and accountability.

CaSE has also produced an accompanying two pager.

Commenting on the report CaSE Executive Director, Dr Sarah Main, said:

“Considering the weight of evidence helps make policies smarter, more effective and cheaper. With enormous policy, funding and flux across government in the coming years, and time and resources stretched, it is vital that the government’s mechanisms for accessing and using evidence to inform decisions are fit for purpose, performing well and as joined-up as possible across government.”

“The UK has a highly regarded system for scientific advice to government. Many politicians are advocates of evidence-based policymaking, but too often the temptation seems to be to cite slim evidence as the rationale for a new policy, rather than weighing the balance of evidence.”

“A shared, open evidence base, and people with the skills and agency to bring evidence to bear on decisions at every level, will serve the national interest in the coming years. We must continue to press for all evidence to be presented, weighed and scrutinised in the pursuit of good government.”

Alongside the launch of the report, Dr Main wrote a comment piece on the importance of evidence in public life in the context of the March for Science events. CaSE’s Director also wrote an article for New Scientist on why expert evidence can help deliver a good deal for voters.

CaSE has also published a number of guest articles from the policy community giving their perspectives on CaSE’s report and its recommendations.

The report was today launched with a panel event at New Prospect House near Westminster. The panellists, including the Chair of the House of Commons S&T Committee Stephen Metcalfe MP, and invited audience discussed the report’s findings.

Improving use of evidence in UK government policymaking

Read the full report