The government receives a wide range of submissions, from a wide range of organisations and individuals, all with the overriding objective of helping us understand the particular issues facing them and their business. But in order for us to be able to use that information and for it to influence the development of policy, it needs to be able to meet certain standards.
Standards of good evidence for policy
In 2012, following the Hargreaves Review of IP and Growth to which over 500 submissions were made, the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) developed and published a guide to evidence for policy. Whilst the focus for this was Intellectual Property (IP) and in particular the copyright field, due to the lack of publicly available evidence and longitudinal datasets, the standards are relevant to all forms of evidence submitted to government.
So what do we mean by standards? What are they and how can you meet them? We want evidence to be:
Is your document written in clear language, with a summary, and where possible without over-use of technical language? Are assumptions made in the study stated explicitly?
Can the conclusions of your analysis be verified by a third party and if there is data, is it in a suitable format for interested parties to view, analyse and draw comparisons?
3. Peer review
Have the reports and submissions been made available to other interest-groups and the public to get feed-back and comments?
Make reports and submissions available
This is the aim... but as we know, and as we have been told, meeting these standards is not always possible, and where you can’t, and it is extremely helpful to explain why. We know that smaller businesses face challenges in assembling evidence and their contributions. So we will look at these sympathetically, and of course, it will add to the evidence base if you can bring your experience to life through case studies.
So, send us your evidence! If you have doubts, concerns, or want to consider an approach to conducting your own research, we will happily talk to you and offer advice. The standards will continue to evolve so if you have any feedback for us, let us know.
If you have questions or feedback, do comment on this blogpost and we’ll do our best to respond.