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‘Trying it out’ Review of effectiveness of government pilots

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1 ‘Trying it out’ Review of effectiveness of government pilots
Roger Jowell Centre for Comparative Social Surveys City University, London with Annette King, Government Chief Social Researcher’s Office, Cabinet Office 1 July 2004

2 Panel of Enquiry Roger Jowell (Chair), City U Waqar Ahmad, DETR Sue Duncan, PM’s Strategy Unit John Fox, DoH Edward Page, LSE Michael Richardson, DWP Judy Sebba, DfES Ann Taggart, HM Treasury Robert Walker, Nottingham U Paul Wiles, Home Office CABINET OFFICE TEAM: Phil Davies Annette King Rebecca Stanley Tess Ridge Lucy Woodward

3 Components of the Review
Expert Workshop Literature Review Postal survey of 11 Departments Interviews with senior civil servants Interviews with selected ministers Case studies

4 Advantages of policy pilots
Evidence-informed policy and delivery Prior assessment of risks and benefits Identifying fault-lines and potentially expensive failures Promoting innovation

5 Forms of evaluation Summative and formative Systematic Reviews
Before-and-after studies Quasi-experimental designs Randomised controlled trials – of individuals or areas

6 Obstacles Issues of ‘clinical equipoise’
Election cycles and legislative time frames Lack of resources Hazards of false positives/negatives

7 Consequences of present practice
Pilots that aren’t pilots Insufficient planning and training Overlooking what is already known Inadequate rigour

8 Conclusions 27 recommendations, adding up to case for …
greater use of ‘genuine’ pilots across government early discussion of ethical and practical difficulties pilots as part of continuous policy evaluation pilots must run their course distinction between negative results & failures more rigour, more RCTs, more independence, more time, more resources “an indispensable tool of modern government”

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