Home > Using research evidence: a practice guide.

Breckon, Jonathan and Roberts, Isobel (2016) Using research evidence: a practice guide. London: Nesta and Alliance for Useful Evidence.

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Research evidence can help you understand what works, where, why and for whom. It can also tell you what doesn’t work, and you can avoid repeating the failures of others by learning from evaluations of unsuccessful programmes. Evidence also challenges what we might think is common sense. Whether it’s in a police station, a school classroom or the boardroom of a charity, evidence can help you make better decisions. It is helpful not only in frontline service-delivery, but also in creating smarter organisations

Introduction 4
Section A: What is evidence-informed decision-making, and why focus on research? 6
Section B: When can evidence help you? 13
Section C: ‘Horses for courses’ – What evidence should you choose? 18
• Part 1: Different types of research methods, designs and approaches 20
• Part 2: How do you judge the quality of research? 29
Section D: Where should you look for evidence? 38
Section E: How should you communicate your findings? 46
Summary 49

Appendix 1: Rationales for evidence and types of evidence required for policymakers 50
Appendix 2: Experimental designs for evaluating complex interventions 51
Appendix 3: Guidance on evidence quality, designs and methods 52

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