A new Government website promises to create a one-stop store of research and other evidence which has informed public policy decisions.Major spending Departments have been asked to set out evidence organised according to their Public Service Agreement (PSA) Objectives. They should also indicate which evidence listed has had the most influence on policy choice, and what programmes they have running to strengthen their evidence base further.
The website will actively seek to stimulate debate with outside experts. Its aim is to give the research community wider perspectives on policy research priorities while also opening up Departments’ evidence bases, enabling insights from research activity being carried out elsewhere.
www.addingitup.gov.uk is an initiative born of the Performance and Innovation Unit PIU Report ‘Adding It Up’, published by the Cabinet Office in January 2000 (www.cabinet-office.gov.uk/innovation/2000/adding/coiaddin.pdf).
This report recommended creating the conditions in which rigorous analysis is routinely delivered and demanded for good evidence-based policymaking.
One key area for action recommended was more openness – that Departments should make better use of data, publish long-term quantitative research, and communicate what data is available.