Designing a Canadian What Works Centre
As demand for evidence-based policymaking increases at all orders of government, Canada must build capacity to generate and mobilize evidence. This paper explores the concept of What Works Centres, independent and non-partisan organizations structured to create, collect and curate evidence on public policy challenges and the success – and failure – of government and community-based interventions.
What Works Centres aim to provide the bridge between researchers, policymakers and practitioners – the convenors, translators and users of evidence. In other jurisdictions, What Works Centres have emerged as a key asset for one of government’s most pressing problems – how to make interventions more impactful and cost-effective for citizens.
This paper builds on previous Mowat Centre work to provide a thorough exploration of the model in the Canadian context and to guide the decisions required to create such an organization in Canada.