This book examines ways to enhance evidence-based policymaking, striking a balance between theory and practice. The attention to theory builds a greater understanding of why miscommunication and mistrust occur. Until we better appreciate the forces that divide researchers and policymakers, we cannot effectively construct strategies for bringing them together.
Over the last twenty or so years, it has become standard to require policymakers 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 analyse evidence the right ones? This book explains that the dominant methods which are in use now - broadly speaking, methods that imitate standard practices in medicine, like randomised control trials - do not work. They fail because they do not enhance our ability to predict if policies will be effective.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Drawing on the insights of some of the world’s leading authorities in public policy analysis, this important book offers a distinct and critical showcase of emerging forms of discovery for policy-making. Chapter by chapter this expert group of social scientists showcase their chosen method or approach, showing the context, the method’s key features and how it can be applied in practice, including the scope and limitations of its application and value to policy makers. Arguing that it is not just econometric analysis, cost benefit or surveys that can do policy work, the contributors demonstrate a range of other methods that can provide evidenced-based policy insights and how they can help facilitate progressive policy outcomes. The book will be ideal for upper level undergraduate students as well as Public Policy post-graduates, and can be used as the basis of an intensive learning experience for policy makers.
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.
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.
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.
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
Evidence is increasingly being demanded before education policy in Canada is developed. Unfortunately, all too often education research and policy proposals come from relatively isolated perspectives. This volume arose from a project that brought together a diverse group of stakeholders as part of an ongoing effort to improve communications between relevant groups. The authors focus on aspects of evidenced-based decision-making for education in the Canadian context, providing both survey articles and commentary. Topics include new and innovative provincial initiatives such as "la carte de la défavorisation au Québec" and the Alberta Initiative for School Improvement (AISI). Major Canadian large-scale testing initiatives including the Third International Math and Science Survey (TIMSS), the national Student Achievement Indicators Program (SAIP), and provincial testing programs are discussed, and selected studies resulting from these programs are presented. Also included are overviews of currently relevant issues such as male-female differences in test scores, high school exit exams, the "causal" impact of education on social assistance use and long-term labour market outcomes, teacher evaluations at universities, and the optimal level of investment in education from an economic perspective. Contributors are from university education faculties and economics departments, provincial government ministries of education and related agencies, school boards, and other related organizations such as the Canadian Teachers' Federation, the Council of Ministers of Education, Conseil Supérieur de l'Éducation au Québec, and Statistics Canada. Reflecting Canada, portions of the book are in French and others are in English.
Evidence-based Policy Making in Labor Economics distills 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, research findings on key policy issues are presented in a compact and readable format, as distillations of comprehensive evidence-based research with concise policy recommendations. Designed to act as a quick reference, this guide brings together summaries of over 100 articles published on IZA World of Labor to give busy policymakers and political advisors worldwide instant access to reliable and up-to-date guidance on key policy topics including: asylum and immigration policy, youth unemployment and life-long learning, innovation, and technological change.
With 1.2 billion people, today’s youth population aged 15-24 represents the largest cohort ever to enter the transition to adulthood. Close to 90% of these young people live in developing countries, and the numbers will practically double in the least developed countries. These young people are the world’s next generation and a unique asset. If properly nurtured, they can act as engines for economic and social progress. Hence, the political will has grown among many national governments to develop comprehensive policy frameworks that better respond to young peoples’ needs and aspirations through national youth policies. This toolkit provides analytical tools and policy guidance, based on rigorous empirical evidence and international good practices, to countries that are developing, implementing or updating their youth policies. The toolkit includes step-by-step modules to carry out a youth well-being diagnosis and includes practical examples of common youth policies and programmes in the areas of employment, education and skills, health and civic participation.
The need to base policy on evidence has placed pressure on decision-makers to support proposals with well-grounded research and information. However, no practical guide with a focus on public sector policy and decision-making for doing this exists. This edited text fills the gap by providing a practical and comprehensive manual for people working in policy areas. It is aimed at practitioners with little or no experience in research and analysis but who require skills in managing, assessing and critically evaluating evidence use in the public sector. This first part of the book covers a range of broad frameworks within which evidence is used to arrive at decisions. These include evaluation, cost-benefit analysis, multi-criteria analysis, economic modelling and forecasting, and scenario planning and futures analysis. The second part of the book then discusses the specific methods used to gather and analyse evidence within these frameworks, including secondary data sources, sample surveys, and qualitative and quantitative data analysis. The emphasis throughout is not on technical knowledge, but critical understanding. George Argyrous is Senior Lecturer in the School of Social Sciences and International Studies at the University of New South Wales, Australia, and is an Adjunct Faculty member of the Australia and New Zealand School of Government.