Evidence-based policy-making fund boosted to £15m

The final phase of the government’s £15 million Evaluation Accelerator Fund (EAF) has been announced as part of the commitment to making the UK a global leader in evidence-based policy-making.

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The Accelerator Fund was open to teams from across the public to pitch innovative solutions for evaluating the impact of new policies or new ways of delivering public services. The projects receiving funding in this latest round will specifically aim to boost the government’s understanding of delivering effective policy interventions in youth crime, net zero, and civil service recruitment.

The money was awarded by the Evaluation Task Force (ETF), a joint Cabinet Office and HM Treasury unit set up as part of a commitment in the Declaration on Government Reform to ensure that decisions about which projects to stop, modify or expand are informed by good quality evidence. Since 2021, £13.7 million of funding has been awarded to 20 unique government projects through the EAF.

EBPM“Ensuring data-driven evidence sits at the heart of all government decisions is critical to delivering lasting and measurable change for the country," said John Glen, Minister for the Cabinet Office. “This funding will help to channel the innovative potential of our public sector and allow them to take the lead to improve the delivery of public services and drive value for taxpayer money.”

“Through the evaluation of these government programmes, we can help to create blueprints for success which all departments can learn from.”

Use cases

One successful bid from the College of Policing will evaluate the long term impact of Operation Divan. This scheme intervenes with young people who have previously carried or been suspected of carrying a weapon, allocating specialist officers to provide advice, communicate the risks, and refer them to support services if necessary. 

Another funded programme is the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero’s proposal to use evaluation data to improve the projects and appraisals of net-zero policies. 

In the Cabinet Office, £200k will be awarded to a project to evaluate the Civil Service Fast Stream’s impact to better inform decisions about its operation.

To date, the ETF has worked on 382 programmes with a value of £202bn, supported 18 departments in developing and publishing evaluation strategies that outline each department’s approach to evaluating programmes and building robust evidence, and ensured evaluation in each department’s policy-making process.

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