January 2014   
News
Launch of the SPARK project 

The European Commission launches SPARK to ignite debate on social policy experimentation in Europe 

The Social Policy Analysis for Robust Knowledge (SPARK) network will promote the value of testing innovative new approaches to tackling social problems using randomised trials to assess the real impact of policies on people.
An official launch event will be hosted by the Alliance on February 12 at Nesta in London. 

Alongside SPARK, the EU will provide practical support for policymakers, service providers and researchers wishing to test a policy idea. Training on conducting policy experiments, including Randomised Control Trials, will be delivered through a European workshop tour and via e-learning resources available on the SPARK website. 

SPARK is part of the EU project 'Support Services for Social Policy Experimentation in the EU' managed by a consortium of organisations including the Alliance for Useful Evidence, LSE Enterprise and J-PAL Europe. The project is funded by the EU's Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion. 


Join the SPARK network to stay informed of new events and training. 


The official launch of the SPARK project will be held at Nesta on February 12. 

This event will cover: 
  • the benefits of social policy experimentation 
  • measuring impact: Randomised Control Trials 
  • best practice in Europe
  • follow up training and resources available from the European Commission 
  • how the project can support those wishing to develop or test new policies
  • the benefits of joining SPARK
REGISTER TO ATTEND  >
Report: Government Evaluation
 
The National Audit Office  launched a review of evaluation within GovernmentThis report examines the coverage, quality, use and cost of evaluation activity conducted or commissioned by government departments. 

The Alliance hosted an event on this topic in April 2013, entitled 'The value of evaluation: increasing the impact of evaluation on decision making ' with Mike Kell, Chief Economist of the National Audit Office. Listen to the event here. 
Events
UK Knowledge Mobilisation Forum

Knowledge is created. Much of it is shared. Some of it is used.

Across industries and sectors we share the ambition to generate more useful knowledge to translate into practice and increase the impact our research and improve the way we work.

Knowledge mobilisation is often about working 'in the middle', at the interface between research and practice and bring together different worlds with different goals and different functions.

The Alliance for Useful Evidence is delighted to host the inaugural UK Knowledge Mobilisation Forum on February 3 and 4 in London at Nesta. 

Speakers include Peter Norman LevesquePresident of the Institute for Knowledge Mobilisation based in Toronto; David Phipps, Executive Director of Research & Innovation Services at York University in Canada; Trish Greenhalgh, Professor of Primary Health Care and Dean for Research Impact at Barts & the London School of Medicine and Dentistry; Cathy Howe, NIHR Knowledge Mobilisation Fellow; and Jonathan BreckonHead of the Alliance for Useful Evidence. 

View the programme here. The event will be live streamed via Second Life. 
Find out how to watch from home. 
 
Blogs
Why government is listening to historians

Lucy Delap, Director of History & Policy at King's College London, explains how historians can remind officials and politicians that things are not what they sometimes seem to be, and that policy interventions can sometimes have unexpected results, and that good policy making must see the big-or longer term-picture. 
Increasing the evidence base for what does (and doesn't work) 

Dan Corry, CEO of NPC, explains how the Justice Data Lab, run by the Ministry of Justice, is helping charities accurately measure their impact on their beneficiaries and create a cultural shift demanding more evidence. 
Staying sane in an insane world and how data can help 

Jenny North, Director of Policy and Strategy at Impetus Trust- The Private Equity Foundation, explains focusing on the right data and impact management can transform charitable organisations. 
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