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24 June 2021

Unique evaluation initiative supporting government and charities to show 'what works'

A unique King’s initiative offering robust evaluation to show ‘what works’ in public services, education, and other policy areas, has secured almost £2 million of work in its first 18 months.

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The Evidence Development and Incubation Team (EDIT) in The Policy Institute offers the kind of flexible, tailored and pragmatic approach offered by private consultants, as well as the rigour of academia.

Since its launch towards the end of 2019, it has secured work from a range of government departments and charities to support and assess the effectiveness of initiatives around education, homelessness and social care.

So far, the team has completed projects worth around £270,000 and are currently working on projects worth £1.6 million.

The team also incubated the £4.5m Centre for Transforming Access and Student Outcomes in Higher Education, a new affiliate ‘What Works Centre’ funded by the Office for Students, which spun out of King’s in April 2021.

Using mixed qualitative and quantitative methods, the team form a partnership with an organisation to design evaluations for all stages of its projects – from incubation of an idea through to rigorous evaluation of its impact.

Susannah Hume, Director of Evaluation at the Policy Institute, said: “Government and third sector organisations need to know if the programmes that they are funding are working as intended, and the only way to determine that is through evaluating them properly.

“It was clear there was a gap in the market for a team such as ours which combines the robustness of academia with the flexibility and pragmatism of a consultancy.”

She said any academics, staff or students are interested in evaluation methods, or who would like to find out more about how they could work with the team, are welcome to email them at