April 18, 2017

A GW4 research community is calling for academics to share their experiences of evidence-based policy in order to shape a new political ‘matchmaking’ service.

Researchers from all GW4 institutions and University College London are developing the UK Evidence Information Service (EIS) to facilitate information flow from academics to parliament through supporting parliamentary research services. It is hoped that this work will promote evidence-informed decision-making.

The GW4 research community has partnered with the House of Commons Library and the National Assembly of Wales Research Service with the aim to provide parliamentary research services with a single gateway to a network of academic experts in science, technology, medicine, arts and humanities, social sciences and more.

It is hoped that the service will put an end to “the ceaseless merry-go-round of failed policies and cherry-picked statistics”, says Dr Andrew P. Kythreotis of Cardiff University.

He says: “Within 24 hours of asking a question, politicians or civil servants would be placed in direct contact with specialist experts in that field. No question would be considered too big, too small, or too stupid. In short, the service would be a carefully managed matchmaker, linking the world of science and research with the world of politics.”

The GW4 research community undertook a ‘citizen study’ in 2014-15 that found that 85% of politicians would be supportive of the ‘matchmaking’ service, with many saying that the service would level the playing field between political parties in terms of their access to academic expertise.

The researchers are now seeking to refine the service through a confidential survey with a view to eventually roll it out through parliamentary research services in England and Wales.

Academics across the UK are asked to share their experiences of policy making, such as contributions to select committee hearings and think tank reports.

The survey takes approximately 5 – 10 minutes to complete and is fully confidential.

Complete the survey here: https://cardiffunipsych.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe2/form/SV_72MVwJ7jXgNCYyF