At Nesta, we believe that good intentions are not enough – indeed, good intentions don’t always lead to good outcomes. So innovators, commissioners, funders and service users need to know whether the services they develop, buy, invest in and use make a positive difference.
That is why we developed the Nesta Standards of Evidence – to provide a better way of measuring the social impact of our innovation programmes and investments. To put it more simply, the Standards of Evidence help us know how confident we can be that an intervention is working.
There are five levels of the Nesta Standards of Evidence, as outlined below:
We aren’t looking to invest in the innovations on this Living Map, but we think it’s useful nevertheless to categorise them by evidence level. It’s a reminder to us, and to everyone in the sector, that we need to be better at using evidence in innovation.
It’s also important to note that we’ve categorised innovations based on our judgement, and information available in the public domain. If you think we’ve made the wrong call on a particular innovation, please get in touch and tell us!