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More transparency needed on evidence used by government

A review of how the UK government uses evidence when developing policies has found that the public and researchers would struggle to follow its reasoning and that standards of transparency vary widely between and within departments.

A report from Sense about Science, conducted in partnership with the Institute for Government and the Alliance for Useful Evidence and funded by the Nuffield Foundation, has assessed 593 policy announcements between May 2015 and May 2016 from 13 domestic government departments. 

The review, published on 23 November, found that departments often appear to have assembled an evidence base to inform policy decisions, but they don’t share it openly, making it hard for the public or parliament to understand or scrutinise their thinking.

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