Improving Education by learning from Evidence-Based Medicine: can you help?

Improving Education by learning from Evidence-Based Medicine: can you help?

News (International)

Giving Evidence has launched a project to find out if lessons can be learnt from medicine about improving performance that could help improve education in less developed countries.

“Medicine is a good place to learn about evidence because there have been remarkable gains in performance", says Caroline Fiennes, Giving Evidence's founder. "Though education and medicine have delivery systems which are not identical, there are useful lessons that can be learnt and ideas transferred: the aim is not to blindly emulate”.  

The project will focus on the areas of medicine which are most similar to education. Education and health have thousands of practitioners (nurses and physiotherapists, and teachers for example) who are trained and qualified in a system usually run or overseen by the state and who deliver services to ‘beneficiaries’:  students and/or patients. Both education and health are major parts of most governments’ budgets, and both have outcomes affected by factors outside the system (for example, parenting style, or diet and exercise).

Giving Evidence will be looking at the ‘evidence-systems’ in medicine and in education that comprise:

  • Production: what evidence is produced, by whom, why do they do it, how are they funded, and what isn't produced;
  • Dissemination: how does the information spread, who is involved, what drives and hinders that process, and how is it funded; and 
  • Use: what is used, what is not used, what aids and impedes usage (e.g., checklists, watchdogs). 

Liora Wulf the project’s manager said, “This is an action-orientated project, so we are looking for ways that the evidence system in education can improve and we will be working with funders and practitioners and others to mobilise action.  We are keen to develop the project with funders and practitioners involved in education in less developed countries and to test their reaction to some of the emerging ideas”. 

If you're interested in being involved in this project please contact:


  • Understanding philanthropy
  • International