In October 2015, the Alliance for Useful Evidence and Institute for Government held a joint roundtable event in Cardiff, exploring opportunities for evidence exchange and policy learning between the UK and devolved governments. We brought together senior civil servants and other experts from Whitehall and the devolved administrations to develop thinking on what can be done to increase UK-wide evidence exchange and policy learning. 

This report is based on that seminar as well as previous work carried out separately by our organisations on devolution and intergovernmental relations, the policymaking process, and the use of evidence in government. It focuses on a number of questions, including:

  • Why has policy learning across the four nations remained ad hoc to date?
  • What are the main barriers to evidence exchange between governments?
  • What examples of good practice exist and what can be learnt from these?
  • What are the opportunities for increased evidence exchange across the UK?
  • In which policy areas could increased exchange deliver the greatest benefits?
  • What can be done to improve the flow of evidence and ideas between governments?
  • What could support better evidence exchange amongst civil servants in the UK?