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Benchmarking transparency in government’s use of evidence

Researchers: Tracey Brown

By Nuffield Foundation

Project overview

There were important moves in the last parliament to promote both the better use of evidence and justification of policy decisions (e.g. the creation of What Works Centres and the Office for Budget Responsibility). However, we are still some way from a transparent, systematic method for communicating evidence across the range of government policymaking.

In 2015, Sense About Science, the Institute for Government and the Alliance for Useful Evidence, produced a framework that offers a rapid assessment tool to rate government departments on how transparent they are about the use of evidence in policy decisions. This project will undertake a comparative scoring of government departments against a transparency framework to identify good and bad practice. The aim of the resulting benchmark and public commentary is to change behaviour across government towards showing its workings, and therefore to lay the ground for more expert review, research input and deliberative discussion with the public about the evidence behind policies.


  • Tracey Brown
    Sense About Science

  • Imogen Parker
    Nuffield Foundation
  • Director, Welfare
    Nuffield Foundation
By Nuffield Foundation

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We aim to improve people’s lives by funding research that informs social policy, primarily in Education, Welfare and Justice. We also fund student programmes that give young people skills and confidence in science and research.

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