The UK government has treated communication about how it’s using evidence in the pandemic as dispensable – ‘nice to do’, for calmer times, to be bolted on after the fact. We have argued that it’s not: it is a vital part of managing the crisis.

We have written to the Prime Minister, to Select Committees and to key officials to challenge the secrecy about SAGE membership and reports. It led to some concessions and partial publication, but the evidence behind policies – on schools, quarantine, 2m distancing, economic trade-offs, mental health – remains opaque. We don’t know what’s being used or how it’s being reasoned. We have moved others to make the case and we are now in the final stages of a transparency review of the evidence used in the first two phases of coronavirus policies, which the government is aware of.

Please show them that this isn’t some narrow concern, but one that is shared across the UK, by people in every walk of life. We’d like you to tell government what you’ve been telling us over the last 8 weeks: that it matters and why. With the publication of our transparency review in coming weeks, we have an opportunity to get more voices heard on this. We will attach to it a compilation of your short statements.

This is important and urgent. With greater transparency about the reasoning on evidence, the trade-offs being made in this next phase of policies,

  • Individuals can better weigh up the risks they’re negotiating
  • Communities and organisations can connect it to their insights about how their members and services are affected
  • Experts can see what is missing, what information needs to be gathered and identify problems
  • Journalists and information providers can give a clearer picture
  • And the government itself – politicians, departments, agencies, NHS, local authorities – can understand what other parts of it are doing and why.

This is vital to implementing policies effectively, and to prioritising and achieving the best outcomes of the next phase.

  • Please fill this out however you feel best describes you. For example: researcher, campaigner, teacher, carer
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Your entry may be included in our compendium of comments to accompany our transparency report to government, which will be published. You are providing a comment to make your voice heard. Your email address will not be included and will only be used as described next to the boxes above. Your name will be included as you submit it. If you would rather, please only submit with your first name.

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These are tough times for small charities, and for us particularly so, as we try amid financial uncertainty to deliver on all our commitments and also respond to these urgent new demands. Our long-term work is strong but our immediate capacity is really stretched. Donations mean we can empower people, right now, with what they need – to make sense of emerging evidence, to communicate about it effectively and to advocate for evidence in issues that affect their lives. You can find out more information on the ways to donate to us on our donate page.

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