House of Commons Library to take part in 'Need to Know'

19 December 2016

Sometimes it’s surprising how hard it can be to find answers to simple questions.

The House of Commons Library is partnering with Full Fact, the Economic and Social Research Council and the UK Statistics Authority to launch ‘Need to Know’, a plan for filling the gaps in publicly available data and analysis.

What do we Need to Know?

The House of Commons Library is an independent and impartial research service. It publishes briefings on legislation and policy, and provides an enquiry service to MPs and their staff. While the quality of public information in the UK is high, there are sometimes gaps in the data and analysis available. The Need to Know project will help the Library to identify the information MPs will need in the future, and see if there are any gaps.

Penny Young, Librarian and Director General of Participation, Research and Information at the House of Commons said:

"Good quality data and analysis is essential to supporting a thriving parliamentary democracy. Research from the Commons Library helps MPs make well informed decisions, so the better the information base for our research, the better informed these decisions will be.”

Filling the gaps

Researchers from the Library will meet with the other partners and leading experts in the following topics in early 2017. Following this a plan of action will be produced and shared online.

  • Crime
  • Education
  • Global challenges
  • Health
  • Housing
  • Immigration
  • Trade and globalisation
  • Work and welfare

Can I get involved?

More information on the 'Need to Know' project is available on Full Fact's website and with this short video

If you've got examples of data and analysis gaps in any of these areas please email

Photo: iStock

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