The Audit Commission has just published their Is there something I should know? Making the most of your information to improve services study, looking at how councils use information to make decisions.
I’ve been involved in the study as part of the external advisory group, and was impressed by the effort put in by the Commission team to develop practical tools for authorities to improve their information use for making decisions. In this area, there are lots of tools aimed at improving researcher skills, but what’s often ignored or glossed-over is that evidence-based decision-making needs better skills from both researchers and decision-makers (an issue we highlighted in our work for Communities and Local Government on how to support local research). So it is great to see the emphasis by the Audit Commission on practical tools for elected members and senior officers, including sets of questions “designed to help members and senior officers consider whether they have all of the information they need to take a decision”.
Links to the report and practical tools:
Tom Smith, OCSI.