How to achieve more effective services: the evidence ecosystem
Shepherd, Jonathan Paul
- Publisher: What Works Network/Cardiff University
An evaluation of the What Works initiative, a network of independent centres whose role is to gather, synthesise and disseminate evidence on the effectiveness of interventions in key policy areas, including health and social care, education attainment, ageing better, local economic growth, crime reduction and early intervention. Using the analogy of the supply chain borrowed from the petrochemical industry, the study outlines key aspects of the evidence ecosystem in which the centres operate, including evidence flow, demand pulls, transmission lines, usability, waste and incentives. Drawing on a literature review, the report identifies interventions most likely to improve the implementation of evidence in policy making and delivery and outlines the characteristics of evidence ecosystems that contribute most to their effectiveness and efficiency. The study then presents the findings from fifty-five semi-structured interviews with a structured sample of personnel in each What Works sector, reflecting on evidence sources, transmission lines, problems and incentives across sectors. It concludes with the presentation of a generic form of the evidence ecosystem followed by a list of generic recommendations, addressing issues across all What Works sectors and focusing on evidence creation, translation and implementation. The ecosystem adapted for each What Works sector is then presented followed by lists of recommendations for each sector.
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