Useful Evidence in Policy Making

Angeline Martin




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Evidence in Policy Making: A Market Research Society NI and the Alliance for Useful Evidence Meeting

The Market Research Society NI met in the Senate Room at Queens University Belfast for a session on useful evidence in policy making.

The session commenced with a presentation from Albert Hamilton Chief Executive of CARD Group and Chair of the Market Research Society NI. A key message from Albert’s presentation was the importance of avoiding bias and perceptive errors when analysing research.

Peter O’Neill of The Alliance for Useful Evidence then presented on using research evidence in policy making and practice.

Central to Peter’s presentation was the need for an improved understanding of research quality. He emphasised the importance of quality research as research is needed for such a broad spectrum of tasks such as making the case for new policies and strategies, developing funding bids, creating communications campaigns, information for speeches and media interviews and much more.

Peter stated that evidence is only as good as the research that collected it. In order to develop accurate insights and understanding to improve policy making, the structure and design of the research must be correct as well as ensuring the right research tools are used to collect the right information.

A very interesting question and answer session followed with key points raised by a number of delegates. These points included fact checking, levels of public apathy towards facts and the responsibility of key figures to ensure they use facts rather than fiction.

The Market Research Society NI meeting is planning to host a session on the new data protection legal framework regulations. The session will explain key differences between the UK Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) and the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).