The Evidence Initiative: An Initiative to Promote Data-Driven Approaches to Policy

LONDON, October 12, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --

The Economist and The Pew Charitable Trusts partner to provide facts to the public and


Leading thinkers and practitioners in evidence-based decision-making made the case for exploring and promoting the use of data and facts for global policies yesterday at the launch of the Evidence Initiative, a new project from The Economist Group and The Pew Charitable Trusts.

During remarks at the event, Tim Harford, author of The Undercover Economist called for people to be "curious, be open-minded and pick up the 'statistical telescope' and look through it." Professor Onora O'Neill, said: "It is pretty difficult for people to make the judgements they need to make these days, we've had 40 years of trying to make institutions more accountable but they are now just harder to understand," and Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, noted: "What has changed in the public's level of trust has to do with evidence. There should be quality sources - useful and reliable sources."

The Economist Group and The Pew Charitable Trusts created the Evidence Initiative to present the case for evidence-based decision-making. In an era of growing political polarisation, fractured media, and the accelerated pace of technological change, public confidence in the responsiveness, accountability, and effectiveness of governments and institutions has been tracked at historic lows. It is against this backdrop that the Evidence Initiative seeks to highlight the use of sound data by decision-makers and encourage individuals to engage with the facts that inform the policy, business and social decision-making that shapes our lives. 

The initiative marks a new partnership for two organisations that have long valued and promoted evidence-based policymaking.

Rebecca Rimel, president and chief executive of The Pew Charitable Trusts, said, "For more than 70 years, Pew has been committed to informing the public and strengthening democracy by sharing facts. The starting point for any discussion-and especially the search for common ground-must be an acknowledgement that facts are discernible and reliable. We are pleased to partner with the Economist Group to promote the use of evidence-based decision making."

Daniel Franklin, executive and diplomatic editor of The Economist, commented: "The Economist Group's ethos is to encourage curiosity. The Evidence Initiative is equipping people with the tools to ask questions and make more informed decisions. Through the activities of The Evidence Initiative we aim to provide organisations and the public with the information to help shape future policy.

About The Evidence Initiative  The Evidence Initiative, a project of The Economist Group and The Pew Charitable Trusts, explores the use of facts and data in decision-making today and presents the case for evidence-based policies. As part of the initiative, the Economist Intelligence Unit will produce an Evidence Index in early 2019, which will assess the availability and quality of evidence in the Group of 20 countries.

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