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Evidence

MLA is pursuing a number of initiatives which together aim to increase our knowledge and understanding of the museums, libraries and archives sector. This is because data about the sector, be they quantitative or qualitative, provide the bedrock of evidence upon which decisions, policies and actions are based.

Evidence [n.]: Facts or testimony in support of a conclusion, statement, or belief.
The New Shorter Oxford Dictionary 1993 ed.

Ensuring this evidence is robust, reliable, timely and relevant is a key objective of MLA. We are uniquely placed to facilitate the creation and delivery of data and systems which will provide all with an interest in the sector with the evidence they need to carry out their roles efficiently and effectively.

Increasingly, hard data (typically quantitative data, or "numbers") are required to make the case to Government (primarily the Department for Culture, Media and Sport but also other Government Departments with an interest in our sector e.g. the Department for Education and Skills) and other funding bodies for more support for the sector. Hard data are also needed to inform decision making; establish, develop and evaluate policies; identify trends; measure the progress that the sector is making; measure the impact MLA is having; support advocacy; and, to facilitate the sector's operational effectiveness. Soft data (typically qualitative data) are also required to support, develop and enrich our understanding of these issues; indeed, a number of key aspects of our sector's work cannot be measured simply using statistics, numbers and ratios.

The evidence pages which are presented here provide full information on our activities in these areas.

At the moment, MLA has split its activities in this area into two separate programmes: the statistics programme and the impact evaluation programme. Following the links below will provide you with full information on what we hope to achieve and how we are going about it. It should be said that although we are currently running two separate programmes it is likely that in the future the programmes will merge to become a single initiative. This is because the issues that define the two areas are closely linked.

Statistics Programme - Find out about our programme exploring statistics and data for the sector.

Impact Evaluation Programme - Find out about our programme exploring the value and impact our sector has.

For further information about our work in this area, please contact Simon Matty.

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