Newsletter: February 2014   
The evidence of well-being 

The Alliance will host a conference on the 31 of March that will scope and examine the creation of a 'What Works Centre for Well-being'. This conference aims to explore how this Centre can be most useful for decision-makers and frontline practitioners.

Speakers include Lord Gus O'Donnell, Geoff Mulgan, Chief Executive of Nesta, Lucy De Groot, Chief Executive of CSV- the UK volunteering and learning charity, Lord Richard Layard, Director of the Centre of Economic Performance at LSE  (invited), Penny Thompson, Chief Executive of Brighton and Hove Council (invited) and Ian Morris, Teacher and Head of PSHE at Wellington College (invited). 

This event is invite-only to senior representatives from central government, the voluntary & community sector, research organisations, public health and local authorities from across the UK. 

If you are working in this area and are interested in attending, please get in touch with us (before the 10th of March). 
Using research and evidence to prevent children from harm 

We will host a roundtable with NSPCC entitled 'Using research and evidence to prevent children from harm' on the 10 March. This event will explore ways of using evidence to improve decision-making in policy and practice in the real world of child protection.

This event is invite-only and will bring together a small group of experts, researchers and practitioners in this field.

The Alliance will circulate a note of the meeting exploring ways to take this agenda forward in the coming months. 

The road to professionalism: fourth annual Society of Evidence Based Policing Conference 

The Alliance is hosting the fourth annual Society of Evidence Based Policing Conference on the 5 March. The conference will examine the results of a control trail involving schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act and a 23 year follow up of random assignment of arrest for misdemeanour domestic assault.

This event is now sold out. However, videos will be made available after the event. You can follow the event on twitter via #SEBP2014 

SPARK launch event, 12 February 2014

The Alliance hosted the first information session on social policy experimentation- the practice of testing new ideas and policies and collecting evidence about the real impact on people. This event also launched the new European-based network for Social Policy Analysis for Robust Knowledge (SPARK).

The Alliance for Useful Evidence, LSE Enterprise and J-PAL Europe have received funding from the European Commission DG on Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion to provide support services to the Commission to develop social policy experimentation in the EU. 

Slides, photos and tweets from the day can be viewed here. 

Join the new SPARK network to stay informed of future, events, training and resources. 
UK Knowledge Mobilisation Forum 

We hosted the first UK Knowledge Mobilisation Forum on the 3-4 February. See a selection of tweets from the day here. 
The evaluation of Project Oracle 

Nesta just published the independent evaluation of Project Oracle. Ruth Puttick expalins that this evaluation shows that Project Oracle is a much needed initiative, helping to grow the evidence behind youth services, and then linking this into the funding and commissioning process.  
How to get policymakers to use more evidence

A dearth of clear, relevant and reliable research continue to block the use of evidence in policy making, according to a systematic review of 145 research parpers. Difficulty finding and accessing this research is also a major problem according to the report's authors: Kathryn Oliver, Simon Innvaer, Theo Lorence, Jenny Woodman and James Thomas. 
The poor state of evaluation in government

Phil Bradburn, an Audit Manager at the National Audit Office, suggests four recommendations to encourage greater uptake of evaluation within government based on the NAO report published in December 2013.
Evidence in education- a lever for professional autonomy?

Julie Nelson, Research Director at the National Foundation for Education Research, explains some practical ideas to increase both the supply and demand of evidence used in the classroom. 
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