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Early Intervention Foundation joins The EQ

Dr Jo Casebourne explains why they are excited to be moving in

Joining forces: why we’re excited to be moving into The Evidence Quarter

EIF chief executive Dr Jo Casebourne highlights the huge benefits to our work and mission from moving in alongside other What Works centres and evidence-focused organisations.

We’ve been a proud member of the government’s What Works Network since we were founded in 2013. We know we’re never going to be able to achieve our mission alone, and so we are always keen to partner with other organisations within the evidence community wherever we can to work together to influence our audiences. This means we work closely with a range of different academics, universities, research centres – and, critically, other What Works centres.

There are many examples of this. We were a founding partner of the Youth Endowment Fund, focused on ending youth violence among children and young people. We have worked closely with the Education Endowment Foundation on our work on social and emotional learning, where we share a common audience of teachers and schools. We’ve collaborated with the What Works Centre for Crime Reduction on the role of policing in early intervention. And we’ve been working closely with What Works for Children’s Social Care on practice models that span early help and the social care system, such as trauma-informed care.

Beyond these kinds of collaborative projects, it’s been invaluable to share learning more widely across the network on how to get evidence used to change policy and practice, on approaches to measuring our own impact as What Works centres, or on how we are approaching equality, diversity and inclusion as organisations and in our research. Learning from other What Works centres and evidence-led organisations has been a crucial shortcut to solving common challenges and making sure we are maximising our impact.

In order to make these opportunities for collaboration and sharing learning even easier, we are excited to be moving offices next month, to co-locate with other What Works centres in the Evidence Quarter. The Evidence Quarter brings a number of What Works centres and similar organisations together to share a common physical space, making it much easier to tackle joint challenges together. The opportunity to be located with What Works for Children’s Social Care feels particularly important in enabling us to work closely together to support government thinking and future policy focused on strengthening support for vulnerable families.  

Being based at the heart of central government will also make it easier for us to bring our insights from working on the ground with local authorities all over the country to bear on national policymaking. This feels especially important in the years ahead, when we will be focused more than ever on meeting the shifting needs of our national and local audiences within a really challenging context for services for children and young people.

At the same time, we will be continuing to examine our methods and approaches, asking whether they are fit for purpose, and testing different ways of mobilising knowledge and measuring our impact. Learning whatever we can from others in the What Works network and beyond will be a critical and ongoing part of this process, and joining the team based in the Evidence Quarter will only make that easier.

Dr Jo Casebourne, Chief Executive of EIF