The use of research evidence in Parliament

picture of room in parliament

POST is running a programme of activity to study the use of research evidence within parliamentary debate and scrutiny, including the impact of POST.

Using a mixed method approach, the study will provide an overview of how research is currently used across Parliament, and a series of in-depth case studies to identify how research feeds into core parliamentary processes of scrutiny and legislation.

This work is being conducted by the Social Science section, which was established in partnership with the Economic and Social Research Council and with the support of University College London.

To ensure that the research programme is methodologically robust, a steering group has been established to provide expert guidance. It is formed of Members of Parliament, internal representatives from across both Houses and external academics and practitioners.

There are many dimensions to a research programme like this: some aspects are detailed and specific to UK Parliament, while others capture broader philosophies of the role of evidence and have implications for other Parliaments. For example, one of the first steps is to understand the multiple definitions of ‘evidence’ in use in the UK Parliament and what types of evidence are most appropriate to its different information needs.

Ultimately, it is hoped that the programme will have implications internationally for how research advisory systems and bodies are organised and the ways in which they operate.

More evaluations about POST can be seen here.