The UK-based Alliance for Useful Evidence has recently published two new resources that will be of interest to all not-for-profit organisations, but especially to those involved in public policy advocacy.
The first relates to their goal that “Decision-makers in government and civil society
routinely make appropriate use of high quality evidence to inform strategy, policy and practice“. Their Theory of Change is a one-page schematic outlining the activities and outcomes involved in each of the three main strands of their efforts to change behaviours:
- capability to use evidence well;
- opportunity to use evidence well; and
- motivation to use evidence
The other resource, Evidence for Good (24pp, ~800k), was prepared by the Wales Centre for Public Policy. It presents case studies from seven UK charities, demonstrating “a variety of ways that evidence can help – from getting off the ground, to improving practice, to influencing the external landscape”.
The authors note that they are not alone in wanting to see charities (and other NFPs) making better use of evidence, citing the 2017 Select Committee on Charities’ Stronger Charities for a Stronger Society report (156pp, 1.8Mb), which stated:
“We are living through a time of profound economic, social and technological
change and the environment in which charities are working is altering dramatically.
These changes have posed new challenges for charities, resulted in some high profile
failures, and led to greater scrutiny of the sector than ever before.”
This is no less true in Australia than in the UK.