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To see the presentations from the day please click on the following links:
Who is this for?
Chief Executive and senior leaders of local authorities. The event is not intended for researchers or specialists in evidence-use.
What is the Evidence Masterclass?
The Evidence Masterclass provides an interactive learning experience for senior leaders of local authorities who want to understand how evidence can help to improve the effectiveness and integrity of public services. Over the course of a day in our central London venue, you will discover how research can be sourced easily and applied effectively in the realistic context of managing a local authority. Guided by an expert facilitator, you will work with senior peers to discover how evidence can inform difficult decisions on social policy and practice, and how you can inspire your authority to become a knowledge-based organisation.
What the Masterclass is NOT:
This is not about directly evaluating the impact of your own services - though this will be touched upon - but on learning from research that is already out there from universities, independent research organisations, market researchers or evaluations of other programmes and practice. We will also stress how this can be done with limited financial costs.
* Greater understanding of the breadth of research and the most relevant types of research,
* Increased confidence in assessing research quality and trustworthiness,
* Knowledge of how and where relevant evidence can be sourced,
* Better ability to make strategic decisions based on evidence,
* Better ability to implement evidence in ‘real world’ scenarios faced by local authorities.
Evidence helps us to understand the societal challenges facing local government and gauge the effectiveness of its services – including evidence of local needs. It also helps us think about what interventions and courses of action might work – and what will fail, or even do harm. Public accountability, wide scale budget cuts and pressure to outsource services means being able to show that we are making the most effective use of the funding available, for those who need it most. And only decent evidence will help us to show that we are making a difference. Evidence also helps us to be ‘learning organisations’, responding to the research that is out there on the best approaches to improving citizens’ lives.
But using evidence is far from easy. Research findings can be inconclusive and confusing. One piece of research seems to contradict another finding. Academic research is often hidden behind publishing paywalls. Original research is expensive to commission. How do you assess the quality of research, interpret findings and make decisions and changes to policy or practice based on evidence? It’s genuinely difficult. The Evidence Masterclass will help to answer these challenges.
About the approach:
The Masterclass draws on the evidence for what we know supports effective professional learning and behaviour change. The Masterclass puts you into the thick of real decision-making and the challenge of using evidence, and supports you to reflect, learn and develop your competency by problem-solving with your peers.
Your expert facilitator
The day will be facilitated by Dr Tony Munton, a former Government adviser with over 25 years’ experience of evaluating social policy across all areas of government including criminal justice, education and health. Tony is the Director of the Right to Know (RTK), a board member of the Centre for Evidence Based Management and chair of the Reasons Why Foundation.
Max Nathan, Deputy Director at the What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth has kindly agreed to do a short presentation as part of the day during the afternoon session.
The Alliance for Useful Evidence champions the use of evidence in social policy and practice. They are an open access network of 1,600 individuals from across government, universities, charities, business and local authorities in the UK and internationally. They provide a focal point for advancing the evidence agenda, developing a collective voice, whilst aiding collaboration and knowledge sharing, through debate and discussion. They are a partnership between the BIG Lottery Fund, the Economic and Social Research Council and Nesta. Membership is free, to sign up visit their website: www.alliance4usefulevidence.org