The Cross-Government Trial Advice Panel (TAP) was launched in 2015 to improve the quality and quantity of trialing across central government. TAP is coordinated by the What Works Team in the Cabinet Office, and directed by a steering group consisting of members inside and outside government.
Comprising around 50 trials experts from academia and the Civil Service, TAP provides pro-bono advice to policy teams and analysts who are thinking about conducting an impact evaluation. The panel has also been involved in training civil servants on the benefits and technicalities of impact evaluations.
Conversations with TAP members are confidential, and while we take pains to ensure that clients end up with a useful and rigorous trial, there is no obligation to follow the panel’s advice. In short, we’ve tried to make it as easy and appealing as we can for civil servants to make use of TAP’s expertise.
Over the last 2 years, the panel has helped its clients in a number of ways, from power calculations to peer reviews. Sometimes TAP’s relationship with a policy team lasts the length of a phone call, and in other cases panel members remain engaged throughout the lifecycle of the trial.
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