Standing up for science and smart decision-making in Canada.
We all benefit when governments make smart policy decisions, informed by the best available evidence.
Evidence for Democracy (E4D) is the leading fact-driven, non-partisan, not-for-profit organization promoting the transparent use of evidence in government decision-making in Canada.
Through research, education and issue campaigns, we engage and empower the science community while cultivating public and political demand for evidence-informed decision-making.
Our issue-based campaigns tackle emerging issues affecting science and evidence-informed public policy in Canada. We work with national and local partners to organize events, raise awareness, and engage the public directly with policy-makers.
Our training program puts knowledge and skills into the hands of Canada’s scientific community and the wider public. We facilitate expert panels, lectures, and documentary screenings to educate Canadians on issues concerning evidence-informed decision-making. We also design and deliver original hands-on workshops providing training for communication and action to support science in Canada.
Our original research program addresses knowledge gaps at the interface of policy and evidence. We identify what works, what hasn’t, and what opportunities exist for improvement. Our critical analyses are intended for use by government, industry, NGOs and the public to strengthen the inclusion evidence-informed decision-making in policy.
- Strong public policies, built on the best available evidence, for the health and prosperity of all Canadians.
- A thriving democracy where citizens are informed and engaged, and all levels of government are both transparent and accountable.
- A national culture that values science and evidence and the important role they play in our society.
In 2012, the role of evidence-informed public policy was thrust into the spotlight like never before. Canadian scientists were frustrated with the federal government’s increasing tendency to sideline science in its decision-making. The government of the day was becoming bolder, more assertive and more sweeping in its avoidance of science that did not suit its agenda—defunding research, silencing scientists, and shutting down research facilities. Eventually, their outrage coalesced into a movement to restore the relationship between science and democracy.
That July, thousands of Canadians, concerned about the diminishing role of scientific evidence in government decision-making, banded together in nationwide Death of Evidence rallies. Their message was clear: we need transparent evidence-informed decision-making for a strong democracy and for the well-being of all people living in Canada. With this momentum, the co-organizers of the Death of Evidence realized that Canada needed a sustained voice for science and evidence in public policy, and went on to form Evidence for Democracy. In the decade since, the organization has become the leading voice working on issues related to evidence-informed policy in Canada.
Today, E4D continues to press governments in Canada on a range of issues related to evidence-informed policy: scientific integrity, transparency of evidence, and meaningful investments in science and research. Check out this timeline to explore the evolution of E4D and the continuous campaign to stand up for science in public policy from 2006 to present day. The timeline is also a useful companion piece to our case study on the same topic, Evidence-informed decision-making in Canada: How a grassroots movement restored respect for science.