National School of Government
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What is evidence? Whose evidence is it? How can using evidence help deliver better public services? These challenging questions are addressed in the new Evidence Based Policy-Making report.

It marks the culmination of a series of seminars run by the National School of Government in partnership with the Public Management Policy Association (PMPA). The seminars brought together policy professionals and academics involved in the supply of data and analysis to consider issues and tensions which may arise in ensuring policies are evidence based. In particular, areas such as knowledge sharing, understanding different analytical approaches and ways of working together were identified as key to successful collaboration.

Rod Clark, Principal and Chief Executive of the National School of Government, said:

“This is an excellent example of how the National School’s partnerships can contribute to the delivery of better public services. The report responds to the need to improve analytical capacity and the use of evidence in policy-making as identified in the capability reviews. These skills are core elements in the civil service’s Professional Skills for Government Framework and essential to the future of our public services.”

Janet Grauberg, Development Director of the PMPA, said:

“This report is a really stimulating collection of contributions on a topic that challenges all of us who want to make good policy and deliver good public services. By working with the National School of Government, we have been able to draw on the PMPA’s strengths in reaching academics as well as harnessing the contribution of serving civil servants to this important debate. I hope that current and future policy-makers will benefit from the work that we have done together.”

The report brings together the ideas of speakers and participants from the seminar programme and is essential reading for all those involved in developing, delivering and improving public policies. Its main recommendations are to:

· Invest in training and developing policymakers to equip them with the skills to assess and use evidence more effectively.

· Create more opportunities for sharing knowledge between the academics and policymakers.

· Improve the understanding of different analytical approaches and ways of working.

· Recognise the political nature of decision-making in public services.

The National School of Government’s Professional Skills for Government (PSG) programme runs courses on Analysis and Use of Evidence which cover the need to predict, obtain and use evidence effectively in policy-making and how to work with analytical experts.

For more information visit 

or contact Sue Oxley on 01344 634434, email 

Notes to editors

1. The National School of Government is the centre of excellence for innovation in learning and development in support of public service transformation and became a government department in 2007. It strives to ensure the highest professional and academic standards in organisational and people development. Visit for more information.

2. The Public Management and Policy Association (PMPA) is a national membership organization which exists to promote the value of public management and public policy. It provides a voice for a community of public sector managers, academics, policy-makers, commentators and those with an interest in public services. It arranges events, lectures, publications and other opportunities for this community to meet, discuss and comment on the public policy and management issues of the day. More information on the PMPA is available at Contact Guy Roberts or Lindsay Machin, CIPFA Press Office, tel 020 7543 5712 / 5645 or email or

3. Evidence-based policy-making: A PMPA/National School of Government practitioner exchange report is available at

4. For media enquiries contact Alfred Bacchus on 01344 634253 email or Chris Blunkell on 01227 772747/07941 831341 email

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