Read the latest blogs from the IGL network.

Taking the first steps in business policy experimentation

By James Phipps on Friday, 10 February 2017.

Embarking on a journey of policy experimentation might be easier with just a first small step… Keen to encourage a culture of experimentation amongst policy makers, IGL has been examining the barriers that prevent its adoptions – finding that these include a reluctance to disrupt the status quo, fears of a backlash if ‘lotteries’ are used to allocate support or simply that evaluation is considered too late.

Manchester city - Image copyright David Dixon

Insights from Greater Manchester on the application of randomised controlled trials to business support services and programmes

By David Morris & Martina Vojtkova on Wednesday, 11 January 2017.

Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs) are considered by many to be the gold standard in demonstrating the real impact of an intervention such as the introduction of a new medicine; but translating the approach to the social sciences is not without challenges. Within the field of public policy, conducting an RCT can be viewed as a challenge to traditional institutional practices, raise ethical and political concerns, and be too complex for non-expert staff to design and implement.

Puzzle pieces

How to learn and improve on what we do in the rugged landscape of programmes and policies?

By Triin Edovald on Monday, 4 April 2016.

As more and more governments attempt to base their policies on sound evidence, randomised controlled trials - the 'gold standard' in evaluation - are gaining a stronger role in determining which policies work. But are they really the best way to tell us which policies should be used? This blogpost explores how to improve our ability to learn and better design things that work.

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EU flags

As much as €152 billion is spent across Europe supporting businesses: but does it work?

By Teo Firpo and Thomas Beevers on Friday, 11 March 2016.

Our estimates for the spending on business support across the European Union, based on our research for the UK, indicate that as much as €152 billion were spent in 2014. In this blog, we explore what this means for Europe, and what could be done better.

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