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.
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, an eminent scholar, and Jeremy Hardie, who has had a long and successful career in both business and the economy, 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. The prevailing methods fall short not just because social science, which operates within the domain of real-world politics and deals with people, differs so much from the natural science milieu of the lab. Rather, there are principled reasons why the advice for crafting and implementing policy now on offer will lead to bad results. Current guides in use tend to rank scientific methods according to the degree of trustworthiness of the evidence they produce. That is valuable in certain respects, but such approaches offer little advice about how to think about putting such evidence to use. Evidence-Based Policy focuses on showing policymakers how to effectively use evidence, explaining what types of information are most necessary for making reliable policy, and offers lessons on how to organize that information.
In this important new book, Ray Pawson examines the recent spread of evidence-based policy making across the Western world. Few major public initiatives are mounted these days in the absence of a sustained attempt to evaluate them. Programmes are tried, tried and tried again and researched, researched and researched again. And yet it is often difficult to know which interventions, and which inquiries, will withstand the test of time. The evident solution, going by the name of evidence-based policy, is to take the longer view. Rather than relying on one-off studies, it is wiser to look to the 'weight of evidence'. Accordingly, it is now widely agreed the most useful data to support policy decisions will be culled from systematic reviews of all the existing research in particular policy domains. This is the consensual starting point for Ray Pawson's latest foray into the world of evaluative research. But this is social science after all and harmony prevails only in the first chapter. Thereafter, Pawson presents a devastating critique of the dominant approach to systematic review - namely the 'meta-analytic' approach as sponsored by the Cochrane and Campbell collaborations. In its place is commended an approach that he terms 'realist synthesis'. On this vision, the real purpose of systematic review is better to understand programme theory, so that policies can be properly targeted and developed to counter an ever-changing landscape of social problems. The book will be essential reading for all those who loved (or loathed) the arguments developed in Realistic Evaluation (Sage, 1997). It offers a complete blueprint for research synthesis, supported by detailed illustrations and worked examples from across the policy waterfront. It will be of especial interest to policy-makers, practitioners, researchers and students working in health, education, employment, social care, criminal justice, regeneration and welfare.
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.
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.
Mental health social workers work within multidisciplinary teams, often based in health settings. The variety of services they work within are shaped by mental health policy that is increasingly being influenced by research evidence of 'what works'. This fully-revised second edition has a new chapter on systematic reviews and greater coverage of the impact of the 2007 amendment to Mental Health Act 1983 on mental health practitioners and services.
This study provides indicators on security and justice at the sub-national level for Mexico and compares them to a sample of indicators from other OECD countries.
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.
This report highlights achievements made in 2013 by IFPRI and its partners in support of the CAADP implementation agenda through ReSAKSS, the AGRODEP Modeling Consortium, and analytical work on agricultural growth and investment options.
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.
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
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.
This study is a result of trying to answer for the WHO the question, "Are there any policy tools that have been shown to improve the allocative efficiency of health care provision?" It does not simply tell policy-makers which tools to take up, but rather how to determine which ones are more likely to be feasible and effective, given particular circumstances of political and administrative capacity, knowledge on the part of both providers and consumers, and other factors which affect whether a policy tool can be used, and with what outcome.
This ebook is a selective guide designed to help scholars and students of social work find reliable sources of information by directing them to the best available scholarly materials in whatever form or format they appear from books, chapters, and journal articles to online archives, electronic data sets, and blogs. Written by a leading international authority on the subject, the ebook provides bibliographic information supported by direct recommendations about which sources to consult and editorial commentary to make it clear how the cited sources are interrelated related. A reader will discover, for instance, the most reliable introductions and overviews to the topic, and the most important publications on various areas of scholarly interest within this topic. In social work, as in other disciplines, researchers at all levels are drowning in potentially useful scholarly information, and this guide has been created as a tool for cutting through that material to find the exact source you need. This ebook is a static version of an article from Oxford Bibliographies Online: Social Work, a dynamic, continuously updated, online resource designed to provide authoritative guidance through scholarship and other materials relevant to the study and practice of social work. Oxford Bibliographies Online covers most subject disciplines within the social science and humanities, for more information visit www.aboutobo.com.