Explores how the Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services (IRISS) promotes the delivery of cost effective social services in Scotland that will support the achievement of positive outcomes for people accessing support. It identifies a number of principles that underpin the work of IRISS and suggests how these facilitate innovative evidence-informed practice. The approach to evidence-informed practice comprises four pillars of activity. The first pillar focuses on improving awareness and access to evidence and is exemplified by the Learning Exchange, the IRISS Insights series, and audio and video recording. The second pillar refers to strengthening the evidence base and is discussed in the context of work on self-directed support. Improving skills and confidence to use evidence forms the third pillar and is represented by work on data visualisation and peer support for self-evaluation. The final pillar is embedding evidence in organisations, through co-production, creating spaces to test and challenge evidence, and through the development of evidence-based products. Supporting people to share knowledge, learn from each other and to collectively produce new knowledge and solutions is an innovative approach but also one which should be cost-effective.
Pre-print. Published in Evidence and Policy, 2014 (10)4 as Embedding research into practice through innovation and creativity: a case study from social services