Information about how to help people should never be kept secret.
25 July 2013
Today the Alliance for Useful Evidence, an open access network of 1,000 individuals from across government, the university sector, charities, business and local authorities from the UK and internationally, published a discussion paper entitled The Secrets of Success How Funders Use and Share Evidence in Practice.
The paper, based on a small group of UK funders, focusses on the practices funders employ when sharing evidence. It describes the types of evidence they draw on, how they find and use the evidence, and how they share evidence to inform the future decisions of others such as funders, practitioners and policymakers.
The paper found:
- Funders can make better use of the evidence they hold if they shared it more widely. Whilst funders regularly share evidence with other funders, they are not always as active in sharing evidence with practitioners and policymakers.
- Funders are keen to know and share what works, but they sometimes have limited knowledge about the relative impact and cost effectiveness of different interventions.
- Funders draw on a wide range of evidence sources to inform strategic reviews and funding programmes; they also place significant emphasis on staff expertise to assess individual funding bids.
- The main types of evidence that funders use (e.g. scoping, synthesis, application forms) are different to the main types of evidence they generate (e.g. impact reporting) and share with others (e.g. evaluations).
- Grantees may be nervous about sharing evidence with funders and their evidence can be of variable quality – funders need mechanisms to help address this.