A guide to RCTs

This is a guide on why, when and how to do a randomised controlled trial (RCT) in the field of innovation, entrepreneurship and growth (IEG).

It has been designed for policymakers, researchers but also practitioners who:

  • Want a better understanding of the underlying principles of RCTs
  • Want to test and evaluate new programmes and policies
  • Need to develop new programmes and policies
  • Need to assess RCT proposals
  • Are responsible for managing and steering ongoing RCTs

You do not need in-depth methodological expertise to use this guide. Some familiarity with issues and challenges that might come up in RCTs alongside an inquisitive mind are expected instead. The guide is intended to equip you with enough knowledge to allow you to have meaningful conversations with technical experts, but also to help you better design and plan RCTs in the field of IEG. For those who are interested, the guide also offers signposts to more specialist sources.

This is our first version of the guide and we welcome your feedback at innovationgrowthlab@nesta.org.uk.