We are undertaking research on evidence use in policymaking, service design and implementation at the local level. A range of initiatives have been introduced, at different times and in different places across the UK, to increase the use of evidence to inform local policy and enhance frontline public service performance. Our research will provide a detailed assessment of what has been learnt from these models of engagement. We will examine the types of knowledge that matter, what counts as evidence to different organisations and how this is mobilised, accessed and utilised in decision making and practice.
We will build on the findings of this project to review how we engage with public services, and how we assess and seek to meet their evidence needs. We will pilot this theory-informed approach with two topics relevant to local policy communities in Wales and assess the effectiveness on (a) stakeholder participation, (b) local policy and practice and (c) outcomes for communities.