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CAPE and Ministry of Justice collaborate to explore evidence gaps in Areas of Research Interest

Capabilities in Academic Policy Exchange (CAPE) and the Evidence and Partnerships Hub in the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) Data and Analytical Services Directorate are excited to announce their new collaboration exploring how to strengthen links between policy/practice and the academic community. Our engagement programme will run throughout 2021 with the aim of learning more about effective modes of knowledge exchange and addressing key evidence gaps in the MoJ Areas of Research Interest (ARI) publication. Activities will be developed iteratively in response to need and are expected to include collaborative events, training, commencement of fellowships and secondments, and co-created research projects.

Collaboration between academia and Government

There is currently a very real appetite and momentum for collaboration on data and analysis, insight, and evidence, across Government and beyond. The UK Research and Development Roadmap commits to a record increase in public investment in research and development; UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and other research funders have identified explicit aims to convene, catalyse and invest in close collaboration with public policy and practice. The commitment from every government department to publish regularly their Areas of Research Interest also provides an important route for academics and civil servants to explore and progress mutual interests. At the same time there is an increased appetite amongst universities to work in partnership with each other – including through the CAPE project – to support effective and sustained engagement with government.

CAPE engagement with the Ministry of Justice

The Data and Analytical Services Directorate (DASD) in the MoJ exists to enhance the way data and evidence is used to shape policy and operational decisions and drive improvements to justice outcomes. DASD is a diverse community of analysts, including economists, operational and social researchers, statisticians, and data scientists. This combined methodological expertise, policy and operational knowledge, and drive to enhance the analysis provided, makes for better decision-making. This will be strengthened with a more comprehensive, dedicated and coordinated approach to engagement with external partners, driven by the Evidence and Partnerships Hub, via the MoJ ARI publication. It will be used as the basis for ongoing conversations, collaboration, and challenge with experts in academia, research organisations and funding bodies. The aim is to increase the available evidence against MoJ priorities, enhance strategic research capabilities, and reinforce the impact of evidence at all stages of policy and operational development and evaluation.