What is evidence?
Evidence is data, facts and information used to inform decisions. This can include:
- findings from research
- evaluations of programs and services
- professional expertise
- the experiences of people who use government services
Why change our approach to evidence?
Successive inquiries have found that the Victorian public service can improve its use of evidence. Governments worldwide are trying to find the best evidence to support their decisions. Policy problems are complex; if we can coordinate evidence better, we can find better answers to these problems.
Evidence is at the core of every decision that government makes. Better supply, demand and use of evidence can improve our decisions and deliver better outcomes for Victorians.
Download our latest statement on evidence reform:
Our approach focuses on three areas
Victoria is taking a systematic approach to transforming how the Victorian public service uses evidence.
We're targeting 3 core areas:
- the supply of evidence – to create and sustain the supply of quality and timely evidence that meets the Victorian public service's needs
- the demand for evidence – to create and sustain the requirement and need for evidence in government operations
- the productive use of evidence – to motivate the Victorian Public Service to better generate, share and use evidence
Our evidence reform architecture
The evidence reform architecture provides a roadmap for how we will improve our use of evidence.
The evidence reform architecture has three components:
- enduring questions – how we shape evidence around big-picture questions that governments face now and into the future
- shared understanding - how we translate evidence so we can use it to inform our decisions
- alignment with government systems and operations - how we make evidence part of our day to day work
We are working on several foundation projects in the first phase of this reform.
Example foundation project: Designing a whole-of-government knowledge bank
Government departments are working together to:
- support the VPS to better generate, collect and curate evidence on a given policy topic
- enable the VPS to share relevant evidence and expertise so decision makers can access the evidence they need, when they need it
Over time, this will create a shared understanding of existing evidence across the VPS and of who the experts are on a given policy topic.
Evidence reform supports outcomes reform
Improving the way we generate, use and share evidence is only one side of the story. A focus on outcomes sets high expectations for what the public sector can achieve. It helps identify what we need to measure to know if we are having an impact for Victorians. This is why we're also leading an outcomes reform.
Reviewed 01 April 2019