Reconsidering evidence-based policy: Key issues and challenges

Head, Brian (2010) Reconsidering evidence-based policy: Key issues and challenges. Policy and Society, 29 2: 77-94. doi:10.1016/j.polsoc.2010.03.001


Author Head, Brian
Title Reconsidering evidence-based policy: Key issues and challenges
Journal name Policy and Society   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1449-4035
Publication date 2010-05-01
Sub-type Editorial
DOI 10.1016/j.polsoc.2010.03.001
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 29
Issue 2
Start page 77
End page 94
Total pages 18
Place of publication The Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier BV
Language eng
Subject 3312 Sociology and Political Science
3321 Public Administration
3320 Political Science and International Relations
Abstract The evidence-based policy (EBP) movement has sought to promote rigorous analysis of service programs and policy options in order to improve the quality of decision-making. Rigorous research findings are seen as useful and necessary inputs for policy-makers in their ongoing consideration of policy development and program review. This article provides a critical overview of the research literature on evidence-based policy in the context of government policy-making and program improvement. Particular attention is given to the rational expectation that improved policy analysis will flow from a better evidence base, with consequent improvements in the service delivery and problem-solving capacities of government agencies. This expectation is contrasted with the practical limitations on rational processes typical in the real world of political decision-making, which is characterised by bargaining, entrenched commitments, and the interplay of diverse stakeholder values and interests. Key issues for consideration include the forms of evidence that are of greatest relevance or utility for decision-makers, and the most productive forms of interaction between the producers and the users of research and evaluation findings.
Formatted abstract
The evidence-based policy (EBP) movement has sought to promote rigorous analysis of service programs and policy options in order to improve the quality of decision-making. Rigorous research findings are seen as useful and necessary inputs for policy-makers in their ongoing consideration of policy development and program review. This article provides a critical overview of the research literature on evidence-based policy in the context of government policy-making and program improvement. Particular attention is given to the rational expectation that improved policy analysis will flow from a better evidence base, with consequent improvements in the service delivery and problem-solving capacities of government agencies. This expectation is contrasted with the practical limitations on rational processes typical in the real world of political decision-making, which is characterised by bargaining, entrenched commitments, and the interplay of diverse stakeholder values and interests. Key issues for consideration include the forms of evidence that are of greatest relevance or utility for decision-makers, and the most productive forms of interaction between the producers and the users of research and evaluation findings. © 2010 Policy and Society Associates (APSS).
Keyword Evidence-based policy
Policy making
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Available online 25 March 2010.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Editorial
Collections: Institute for Social Science Research - Publications
Non HERDC
 
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Created: Tue, 15 Feb 2011, 23:49:35 EST by Robin Smith on behalf of Institute for Social Science Research