Creating‌ ‌‌evidence-based‌ ‌government‌ (podcast)

  • 2020

While the use of Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs) in government has been historically low, over the last 10 years the Behavioural Insights Team has aimed to popularise the use of the RCTs and to support the work of the organisations like the Cochrane and Campbell Collaboration to get evidence into policy. During this time, a passionate debate has raged between the proponents of RCTs and also those who have argued that RCTs may even be overused or that they are not driven by theory enough


However, this debate has not stopped action organisations like the Education Endowment Foundation supercharging the number of RCTs being funded, or organisations like Administrative Data Research UK or the UK Ministry of Justice’s Data Lab service finding new ways to support governments to be more effective.

In this podcast, Alex Gyani in Sydney and Alex Sutherland in London discuss what being a fully evidenced based  government means and how we can get there. We’ll start by discussing what it means to be evidence based, then highlight how BIT has been able to run trials at scale and how ‘nudge’ trials compare to those run in academia. Finally, we look to the future and the promise of machine learning and how AI might be able to help human decision making.

Listen here:

If you would like to know more you can download Test Learn Adapt here and can also read our report on data science and behavioural insights here. If you would like to know more about the history of whey, you can go here.



Editing by Evan Sycamnias at Pixelife Studio

Production by Alex Gyani 


Musical credits: 

Intro: Next to you by Jessie Villa

Outro: Cassette Deck by Basketcase