Better Evidence Conference Report:

Better Outcomes for People in Canada

In February 2024 in Ottawa, Blueprint—along with our partner, the Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy—hosted the Better Evidence Conference.

In this follow-up report, we capture what we heard at the conference, and share a vision—enriched by the conference dialogue—for how policymaking needs to change in the face of growing complexity and delivery challenges for governments. Simply put: we need our policy intentions to translate to policy impact through better outcomes and greater efficiency.

At the core of this vision is more strategic and dynamic use of data and evidence throughout all phases of the policy cycle.

Key Insights Inside this Report

In addition to the vision for data-driven and evidence-informed policy cycles, this report also includes:

  • An overview of key barriers—technical, institutional, political and cultural—to data and evidence use
  • Key considerations to help embed equity within evidence use in policymaking, including respect for Indigenous data sovereignty.
  • A short case study that highlights what using continuous evidence throughout a policy cycle looks like in practice.

Making Change: Actionable Opportunities

The report concludes with five actionable opportunities that will move policymaking towards a “new normal” where data and evidence are effectively leveraged:

  1. Pilot-Test Continuous Evidence Approaches: Implement pilot projects integrating evidence at every stage, focusing on continuous learning and adaptation.
  2. Build a Culture of Continuous Learning: Enhance technical and leadership capacities to foster openness and commitment to improvement.
  3. Strengthen Evidence Support Systems: Ensure timely, relevant evidence and leverage existing data holdings as strategic assets.
  4. Invest in Methodological Innovations: Utilize new data sources and analytical tools to improve evidence generation and mobilization.
  5. Continue the Conversation: Foster ongoing dialogue through conferences and workshops to share successes, challenges and collaborative solutions.

What’s Next: A Call to Action

This report serves as a rallying call for governments and civil society to advance the next generation of evidence use in policymaking, ultimately improving outcomes for individuals, families and communities across the country.

Blueprint and our Better Evidence Council continue to champion these ideas and welcome further collaboration with anyone tasked with addressing complex challenges.

Be in touch with your feedback, ideas and suggestions for continuing the conversation.

Please share the report, get inspired by the conference videos and join the LinkedIn conversation with #BetterEvidence24.

#BetterEvidence24 Resources