The importance of evidence

What is evidence?

There are plenty of people that like to discuss or contend that they have evidence, yet what exactly do they mean when they use this word?

Basically evidence is used to prove an argument been made by individuals or groups that believe something to be true or a fact. Alternatively, evidence can used to disprove or refute a fact or argument people disagree with, or hold to be false.

There is not a single type of evidence, it comes in various differing forms. Different kinds of evidence are associated with differing types of disciplines.  The different kinds of evidence used include stories,  witness statements, technical reports,  statistics from patient trials or the data from surveys.  In the more specific context of public health up to and including prevention services the gathering and analysis of suitable evidence has the objective of improving the health and well being of the whole population.

The different types of evidence are regarded as either being weak or strong, depending on what type of is, and in, which discipline it is been considered in. Disciplines will grade the different types of evidence available in terms of it”a usefulness in conducting research and proving or disproving facts and thesis. Rating the value of strength of each type of evidence allows research to be conducted to general, hopefully higher standards.

Whenever you decide to present or to use evidence of is essential that such evidence is used in the most accurate context,  making more of any strengths or weaknesses it might have, and making clear to others why such particular evidence is being used instead of any other kind.

You should always take the audience into consideration and how you present the evidence to them.

Why is evidence important?

Evidence is used to back up or refute arguments, and it helps us to make decisions at work. Using evidence allows us to work out what is effective and what is not. In terms of working with youths and young children. It is important in developing and if needs be refining the programs to assist children. Evidence indicates the ideas that are effective and those, which are not meaning that programs are changed to be more relevant and develop children further.

How should evidence be used?

Reliable evidence should form the basis of developing and changing individual programs for each young person. Evidence should also shape policy guidance and make professional youth services more relevant to users.

To summarize:

  • Evidence supports assertions instead of being complete proof
  • Evidence provides analysis and data for the efficiency of our work
  • Evidence gives the opportunity to reflect on and suggest improvements to services
  • Evidence is for the providers as well as the users of services
  • Evidence and it’s use in the practice of prevention

When it comes to providing ethical and effective services to young people evidence is key to getting it right. The aim of prevention is to guide youths into making decisions that will benefit them instead of doing things that lower their prospects. Without using evidence any prevention programs drawn up are far more likely to fail, meaning that people are more likely to make the wrong decisions.

To be effective a program needs to use relevant evidence, to evaluate it’s impact and a way to measure the success or otherwise of implementation.

For youth prevention programs to be effective everybody involved in the decision-making process has to have access to relevant and accurate evidence.

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