The Evidence Information Service as a new platform for supporting evidence-based policy: a consultation of UK parliamentarians
Evidence & Policy: A Journal of Research, Debate and Practice
This is the final version of the article. Available from Policy Press via the DOI in this record.
The value of evidence-based policy is well established, yet major hurdles remain in connecting policymakers with the wider research community. Here we assess whether a UK Evidence Information Service (EIS) could facilitate interaction between parliamentarians and research professionals. Fifty-six UK parliamentarians were interviewed to gauge the challenges of working with evidence and the potential utility of an EIS. Grounded theory analysis identified several barriers to evidence-based policymaking, however 85% of parliamentarians supported the EIS, preferring a rapid, impartial, concise, and optionally confidential service. We conclude that an EIS integrated with existing parliamentary systems could enhance dialogue between policymakers and researchers.
This research was supported by funds from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (CDC), the Vice Chancellor’s office of Cardiff University (CDC, GO, APK), the AHSS College Seedcorn Fund, Cardiff University (APK, CDC, GO, NL, SB) and the Catalyst project and Open Innovation Fund supported by HEFCE at the University of Exeter (NL). We thank Jonathan Breckon (Alliance for Useful Evidence), Paul Drayson, Helen Featherstone, Mark Henderson, Helen Jamison, Leigh Jeffes, James Wilsdon and several parliamentary organisations, learned societies, and Members of Parliament, for helpful discussions throughout this project. We are especially grateful for the vital contribution to this research made by the volunteers who freely donated their time to complete the interviews. The following volunteers agreed to be publicly acknowledged: Sally Adams, Paul Botterill, Annie Brookman, Clare Burrage, Sammie Buzzard, Morag Cockburn, Aimee Davies, Janice Drew, Clare Dutton, Chris Emmerson, Pete Etchells, Mike Fell, Eva Feredoes, Bob Foster, Ruth Garside, Adam Glen, John Graham, Craig Hedge, Harry Holkham, Tomi Johnson, Philip Martin, Grace McCann, Stephen McGrady, Silvana Mengoni, Roni Mermelshtine, Philip Moriarty, Dara O’Hare, Gillian Pepper, Patricia Riddell, Johnnie Shannon, Lucy Sykes, Dave Watts, Eleanor Willard, and Anthony Wilson.
This is an open access article.
Available online: 06 June 2016