Over the last twenty or so years, it has become standard to require policy makers to base their recommendations on evidence. That is now uncontroversial to the point of triviality--of course, policy should be based on the facts. But are the methods that policy makers rely on to gather and analyze evidence the right ones? In Evidence-Based Policy, Nancy Cartwright and Jeremy Hardie explain that the dominant methods which are in use now--broadly speaking, methods that imitate standard practices in medicine like randomized control trials--do not work. They fail, Cartwright and Hardie contend, because they do not enhance our ability to predict if policies will be effective.
This book is for those who believe that good government should be based on hard evidence, and that research and policy ought to go hand-in-hand. Unfortunately, no such bond exists. Rather, there is a substantial gap, some say chasm, between the production of knowledge and its utilization. Despite much contrary evidence, the authors propose there is a way of doing public policy in a more reflective manner, and that a hunger for evidence and objectivity does exist. The book is pragmatic, drawing on advice from some of the best and brightest informants from both the research and policy communities. In their own voices, researchers provide incisive analysis about how to bridge the research/policy divide, and policymakers provide insights about why they use research, what kind is most useful, where they seek it, and how they screen its quality. The book breaks through stereotypes about what policymakers are like, and provides an insiders’ view of how the policy process really works. Readers will learn what knowledge, skills, approaches, and attitudes are needed to take research findings from the laboratory to lawmaking bodies, and how to evaluate one’s success in doing so. The book’s balance between theory and practice will appeal to students in graduate and upper-level undergraduate courses in family studies and family policy, educational policy, law, political science, public administration, public health, social work, and sociology. This book will also be of interest to researchers who want to bring their ideas into policy debate and to those who work with policymakers to advance an evidence-based policy agenda.
This book explores the complex relationship between public health research and policy, employing tobacco control and health inequalities in the UK as contrasting case studies. It argues that focusing on research-informed ideas usefully draws attention to the centrality of values, politics and advocacy for public health debates.
The Politics of Evidence Based Policymaking identifies how to work with policymakers to maximize the use of scientific evidence. Policymakers cannot consider all evidence relevant to policy problems. They use two shortcuts: ‘rational’ ways to gather enough evidence, and ‘irrational’ decision-making, drawing on emotions, beliefs, and habits. Most scientific studies focus on the former. They identify uncertainty when policymakers have incomplete evidence, and try to solve it by improving the supply of information. They do not respond to ambiguity, or the potential for policymakers to understand problems in very different ways. A good strategy requires advocates to be persuasive: forming coalitions with like-minded actors, and accompanying evidence with simple stories to exploit the emotional or ideological biases of policymakers.
This valuable book offers a distinct and critical showcase of emerging forms of discovery for policy-making drawing on the insights of some of the world’s leading authorities in public policy analysis.
Looking at the spread of evidence-based policy making across the Western world, this book examines the methodological assumptions that lie behind this drive for government departments, academic research projects and NGOs to adopt an 'evidence-based' approach, when so little has been done to ask what works in an evidence-based context.
The Open Access version of this book, available at http://www.tandfebooks.com/, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 3.0 license. There has been an enormous increase in interest in the use of evidence for public policymaking, but the vast majority of work on the subject has failed to engage with the political nature of decision making and how this influences the ways in which evidence will be used (or misused) within political areas. This book provides new insights into the nature of political bias with regards to evidence and critically considers what an ‘improved’ use of evidence would look like from a policymaking perspective. Part I describes the great potential for evidence to help achieve social goals, as well as the challenges raised by the political nature of policymaking. It explores the concern of evidence advocates that political interests drive the misuse or manipulation of evidence, as well as counter-concerns of critical policy scholars about how appeals to ‘evidence-based policy’ can depoliticise political debates. Both concerns reflect forms of bias – the first representing technical bias, whereby evidence use violates principles of scientific best practice, and the second representing issue bias in how appeals to evidence can shift political debates to particular questions or marginalise policy-relevant social concerns. Part II then draws on the fields of policy studies and cognitive psychology to understand the origins and mechanisms of both forms of bias in relation to political interests and values. It illustrates how such biases are not only common, but can be much more predictable once we recognise their origins and manifestations in policy arenas. Finally, Part III discusses ways to move forward for those seeking to improve the use of evidence in public policymaking. It explores what constitutes ‘good evidence for policy’, as well as the ‘good use of evidence’ within policy processes, and considers how to build evidence-advisory institutions that embed key principles of both scientific good practice and democratic representation. Taken as a whole, the approach promoted is termed the ‘good governance of evidence’ – a concept that represents the use of rigorous, systematic and technically valid pieces of evidence within decision-making processes that are representative of, and accountable to, populations served.
An exploration of how the knowledge gained from research is used to improve the effectiveness of public policy formation and public service delivery. It covers eight areas of public service - health, education, criminal justice, social policy, transport, urban policy, housing and social care.
Correctional policies for Islamist violent extremist offenders are often based on the premise that prisons can be hotbeds of radicalization. The perception that inmates are susceptible to violent extremist belief systems has given rise to a fervent international public, political, and scholarly debate and has led to the introduction of drastic, often expensive policies to counter the threat of prison radicalization. But is the introduction of these policies justified? A key question is whether violent extremist offenders should be concentrated in separate high-security prisons, or whether they should be integrated into the mainstream inmate population. Prisoner Radicalization and Terrorism Detention Policy argues that concentration strategies to manage violent extremist offenders are often flawed – based on untested, potentially false assumptions that are rooted in fear rather than in facts. Little academic evidence has been produced that can valuably inform policy making in this area. As a result, policies to detain violent extremist offenders may be inadequately tailored to achieve their objectives, and could even lead to an intensification of the violent extremist threat. This book is the first to present a detailed and systematic case study of the decision-making and implementation process behind terrorism detention policy. It will be essential reading for students, scholars and policymakers researching criminal justice, terrorism and extremism.
In the past eight years, there has been a massive increase in government spending on counterterrorism intervention development and implementation. Given this increase, there are two evidence-based policy questions that are important to address: Is there evidence that any of these programs are effective – in other words, can they be shown to be linked to reducing terrorism, terrorist recruiting, or to improving the response and management of terrorist events? Do these interventions have secondary or collateral effects that may be costly, harmful, illegal, beneficial, or otherwise? As Lum and Kennedy discovered in an evaluation research on counterterrorism interventions, only a minuscule number of empirical studies of terrorism exist and there is an almost complete absence of evaluation research on counter-terrorism strategies. This is startling given the enormous increases in the development and use of counter-terrorism programs, as well as spending on counter-terrorism activity. Even more disconcerting was the nature of the evaluations we did find; some programs were shown to either have no discernible effect on terrorism or lead to increases in terrorism. The emphasis of the need for empirical research in evaluating interventions and informing policy cannot be overstated, and is the primary goal of Evidence-Based Counterterrorism Policy.
Although much has been written on evidence-based policy making, this is the first volume to address the potential of GIS in this arena. GIS and Evidence-Based Policy Making covers the development of new methodological approaches, emphasizing the identification of spatial patterns in social phenomena. It examines organizational issues, including the development of new tools for policy making. This text brings together the results of researchers working across the entire spectrum of evidence-based policy making, focusing on the exploration for new data sources and examining ways to bring GIS-based methods to the public and to policy-makers.
The first comprehensive history of the Obama administration's evidence-based initiatives. From its earliest days, the Obama administration planned and enacted several initiatives to fund social programs based on rigorous evidence of success. Ron Haskins and Greg Margolis tell the story of six—spanning preschool and K-12 education, teen pregnancy, employment and training, health, and community-based programs. Readers will appreciate the fast-moving descriptions of the politics and policy debates that shaped these federal programs and the analysis of whether they will truly reshape federal social policy and greatly improve its impacts on the nation's social problems. Based on interviews with 134 individuals (including advocates, officials at the Office of Management and Budget and the Domestic Policy Council, Congressional staff, and officials in the federal agencies administering the initiatives) as well as Congressional and administration documents and news accounts, the authors examine each of the six initiatives in separate chapters. The story of each initiative includes a review of the social problem the initiative addresses; the genesis and enactment of the legislation that authorized the initiative; and the development of the procedures used by the administration to set the evidence standard and evaluation requirements—including the requirements for grant applications and awarding of grants.
Martyn Hammersley's provocative new text interrogates the complex relationship between research, policymaking and practice, against the background of the evidence-based practice movement. Addressing a series of probing questions, this book reflects on the challenge posed by the idea that social research can directly serve policymaking and practice. Key questions explored include: - Is scientific research evidence-based? - What counts as evidence for evidence-based practice? - Is social measurement possible, and is it necessary? - What are the criteria by which qualitative research should be judged? The book also discusses the case for action research, the nature of systematic reviews, proposals for interpretive reviews, and the process of qualitative synthesis. Highly readable and undeniably relevant, this book is a valuable resource for both academics and professionals involved with research.
This book examines the causes and consequences of suicide from the perspective of economics. The approach here differs from those in medical, psychiatric, epidemiological, and sociological studies of suicide and is thus novel in a way that highlights the importance of economic and institutional settings in the problem of suicide. The authors argue that suicide imposes a tremendous economic cost on contemporary society in a variety of ways, requiring the government to develop an effective prevention strategy. An empirical analysis using data from Japan and other developed countries shows that natural disasters and economic crises increase suicide rates, while liberal government policies favorable to the poor can decrease them. Further, the types of effective prevention strategies in the context of railway/subway suicides, celebrity suicides, public awareness campaigns, and education using data primarily from Japan are revealed. This book ultimately contributes to an understanding of suicides and the development of evidence-based policy proposals. The Japanese version of this book won the 56th Nikkei Prize for Economics Books (Nikkei Keizai Tosho Bunka Award) in 2013. Yasuyuki Sawada is Chief Economist of the Asian Development Bank and Professor of Economics at The University of Tokyo. Michiko Ueda is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Political Science and Economics at Waseda University. Tetsuya Matsubayashi is Associate Professor of Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP) at Osaka University.
"[O]ffers excellent examples of nurses in action - effectively marrying research evidence and theories of policy influence to achieve policy change. . . .Only when we get the right policy research messages to the right policy makers will there be a real research-policy connection. Hats off to Nursing Policy Research authors, contributors and publisher (Springer Publishing Company) for helping move us forward." --Judith A. Oulton Oulton, Oulton & Associates Specialist in nursing and health policy and development Nurse leaders, researchers, and evaluators face a vital problem in the profession: how to successfully translate evidence-based research into health policy. In this book, seasoned researchers share their knowledge, skills, and expertise on the most important aspects of the research enterprise and its connection to policy implementation. Readers will learn how to: Identify the relevant health care issues that policy makers are concerned with Collect and manage data that will influence policy discussion Translate statistical significance into policy at the institutional, state, and federal levels Secure appropriate funding for research on issues in nursing education, the workforce crisis, and more Determine how Congressional processes affect federal funding and budgeting Dickson and Flynn provide the necessary tools to turn evidence-based research into health policy. With these tools, researchers will not only improve their capacity to influence policy decisions, but will take part in the advancement of the profession at large.
There has been an enormous increase in interest in the use of evidence for public policymaking, but the vast majority of work on the subject has failed to engage with the political nature of decision making and how this influences the ways in which evidence will be used (or misused) within political areas. This book provides new insights into the nature of political bias with regards to evidence and critically considers what an ‘improved’ use of evidence would look like from a policymaking perspective. Part I describes the great potential for evidence to help achieve social goals, as well as the challenges raised by the political nature of policymaking. It explores the concern of evidence advocates that political interests drive the misuse or manipulation of evidence, as well as counter-concerns of critical policy scholars about how appeals to ‘evidence-based policy’ can depoliticise political debates. Both concerns reflect forms of bias – the first representing technical bias, whereby evidence use violates principles of scientific best practice, and the second representing issue bias in how appeals to evidence can shift political debates to particular questions or marginalise policy-relevant social concerns. Part II then draws on the fields of policy studies and cognitive psychology to understand the origins and mechanisms of both forms of bias in relation to political interests and values. It illustrates how such biases are not only common, but can be much more predictable once we recognise their origins and manifestations in policy arenas. Finally, Part III discusses ways to move forward for those seeking to improve the use of evidence in public policymaking. It explores what constitutes ‘good evidence for policy’, as well as the ‘good use of evidence’ within policy processes, and considers how to build evidence-advisory institutions that embed key principles of both scientific good practice and democratic representation. Taken as a whole, the approach promoted is termed the ‘good governance of evidence’ – a concept that represents the use of rigorous, systematic and technically valid pieces of evidence within decision-making processes that are representative of, and accountable to, populations served.
IZA World of Labor distils and condenses the best thinking and research on labor economic issues to enable decision-makers make better informed policy decisions. Written by well-known labor economists worldwide, the findings on each topic are presented in a compact and readable format, as distillations of comprehensive evidence-based research. The IZA World of Labor Policy Handbook brings together summaries of over one hundred research articles to give busy policy-makers and advisors worldwide instant access to reliable, and up-to-date guidance on key policy topics including: migration and immigration; the minimum wage; supporting an aging workforce; the gender pay gap; microfinance in developing countries.
Leading scholars and practitioners come together in this contributed volume to present the most current evidence on cutting edge health issues for South Asian Americans, the fastest growing Asian American population. The book spans a variety of health topics while examining disparities and special health needs for this population. Subjects discussed include: cancer, obesity, HIV/AIDS, women's health, LGBTQ health and mental health. Health of South Asians in the United States presents research-based recommendations to help determine priorities for prevention, diagnosis, treatment, education, and policies which will optimize the health and well-being of South Asian American communities in the United States. Although aimed at both students, healthcare professionals and policy makers, this book will prove to be useful to anyone interested in the health and well-being of the South Asian communities in the United States.
This book raises important questions about the extent to which policy can be derived from research and about the kind of evidence which should inform policy. Challenges contemporary orthodoxies and offers constructive alternatives Critiques the narrower conceptions of evidence which might inform policy advanced by the ?what works? movement Investigates the logical gaps between what can be shown by research and the wider political requirements of policy Examines the different educational research traditions e.g. large population studies, individual case studies, personal narratives, action research, philosophy and ?the romantic turn? Calls for a more subtle understanding of the ways in which different forms of enquiry may inform policy and practice Discusses the recognition and utilisation of the insights offered by the rich variety of educational research traditions available to us
Realistic Evaluation shows how program evaluation needs to be, and can be bettered. It presents a profound yet highly readable critique of current evaluation practice, and goes on to introduce a `manifesto' and `handbook' for a fresh approach. The main body of this book is devoted to the articulation of a new evaluation paradigm, which promises greater validity and utility from the findings of evaluation studies. The authors call this new approach `realistic evaluation'. The name reflects the paradigm's foundation in scientific realist philosophy, its commitment to the idea that programmes deal with real problems rather than mere social constructions, and its primary intention, which is to inform realistic developments in policy making that benefit programme participants and the public. Ray Pawson and Nicholas Tilley argue with passion that scientific evaluation requires a careful blend of theory and method, quality and quantity, ambition and realism. The book offers a complete blueprint for evaluation activities, running from design to data collection and analysis to the cumulation of findings across programmes and onto the realization of research into policy. The argument is developed using practical examples throughout and is grounded in the major fields of programme evaluation. This book will be essential reading for all those involved in the evaluation process especially those researchers, students and practitioners in the core disciplines of sociology, social policy, criminology, health and education. `This book is a must for those engaged in the field, providing a fully illustrated text on evaluation with numerous examples from the criminal justice system. Unusually, it offers something for the academic, practitioner and student alike. I found Pawson and Tilley's latest work on evaluation an enjoyable and informative read. For myself their "realistic evaluation" clarified and formalised a jumbled set of ideas I had already been developing. Although not everyone will agree with the methodology proposed by the authors, this book is a valuable read as it will cause most of us at least to review our methodological stance' - International Journal of Police Science and Management `This is an engaging book with a strong sense of voice and communicative task. The voice is sometimes strident, but always clear. Its communicative qualities are evident equally in its structure: lots of signposting for the reader within and across chapters' - Language Teaching Research `This provocative, elegant and highly insightful book focuses on the effective incorporation of actual practice into the formulation of evaluation methodology. What a pleasure to read sentences like: "The research act involves "learning" a stakeholder's theories, formalizing them, and "teaching" them back to that informant who is then in a position to comment upon, clarify and further refine the key ideas". Pawson and Tilley have given us a wise, witty and persuasive account of how real practitioner experience might be encouraged to intrude on (and modify) researchers' concepts about program processes and outcomes. This holds important promise for achieving something that is devoutly to be wished: closer interaction among at least some researchers and some policy makers' - Eleanor Chelimsky, Past-President of the American Evaluation Association `This is a sustained methodological argument by two wordly-wise social scientists. Unashamedly intellectual, theoretically ambitious yet with a clear but bounded conception of evaluation. It is articulate, occasionally eloquent and always iconoclastic, whilst eschewing "paradigm wars". The Pawson and Tilley "realist" call to arms threatens to take no prisoners among experimentalists, constructivists or pluralists. It is the kind of book that clarifies your thoughts, even when you disagree with everything they say' - Elliot Stern, The Tavistock Institute

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