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Engaging with Evidence Toolkit

A toolkit on how to utilise, synthesise, scrutinise, and engage with evidence and expertise for policy development.

This toolkit was created by Nesta in partnership with CAPE and the Chief Scientific Adviser’s (CSA) Office at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC).

It will help you to understand how to harness data, information, knowledge, and wisdom (aka evidence) to inform live problems, and understand what ‘good’ and ‘better’ evidence use means in policy practice.

It will support you to access diverse forms of expertise and engage with the UK scientific community to progress your goals.

It offers a range of interactive activities that you can use to determine what evidence and expertise is needed for what purposes – and the principles, processes, methodologies, and tools that can support this work.

We call these evidence use and expert engagement capabilities.

Key Features

  • This open access toolkit weaves together a range of case studies, content, and activities that are grounded in existing practice and signpost to supporting literature.
  • The toolkit is designed to be used by teams or groups working through the activities and exercises together.
  • Activities within the toolkit can be completed in interactive PDF format, or printed for use in workshops or team sessions. Time estimates for subsections have been provided throughout to help you use the tools you need at the times you need them.
  • The toolkit was designed for people working in UK policy and delivery professions, but the tools are relevant for any project or group interested in improving capabilities for evidence use and expert engagement.

Get involved: Provide Feedback for version 2.0

This is the beta version of the Engaging with Evidence Toolkit.

It’s a first attempt at bringing together tools, resources, and activities that support the use of evidence and expertise within policy. We know that there’s more to learn from this work and that we may have omitted useful resources, and we’d like your help in identifying and filling these gaps.

Help us create the version 2.0 by sending us:

Corrections and edits of any errors.
Additional resources that we can signpost.
Completed activity templates.
Stories of how you have used this toolkit or developed evidence capabilities in your own context.
Please send any feedback to [email protected] with ‘Engaging with Evidence Toolkit: Version 2.0’ as the subject line. Your inputs are greatly appreciated!