Presentation on theme: "Evidence and the Policymaking Process CFHSS Congress 2006 York University Louise Shaxson"— Presentation transcript:
Evidence and the Policymaking Process CFHSS Congress 2006 York University Louise Shaxson
The Series Effective Research for Development Policy: How researchers can maximize their influence on policy. Evidence and the Policy Making Process: How do policy makers access research, what constitutes evidence. Action Research for Maximum Impact: Some "good news" case studies, and practical research tools for practitioners.
This Workshop Exercise: Food in primary schools Drivers of change Policy development trajectory Evidence and analysis What policymakers want The role of analysts EBPM in practice Further information
Exercise: Food in Primary Schools
Drivers of change Increasing emphasis on the quality of evidence and its use (Modernising Government); To underpin & inform strategy, policy, regulatory work, foresight; and to mitigate risk; Importance of challenge to evidence (BSE inquiry, Science Advisory Committees) Depth and breadth of future evidence needs will increase given complex and overlapping strategic priorities
Smaller policy core (efficiency drive in the public sector) Getting rid of the generalist/specialist label Improving intelligent customer capability Future evidence needs, when set against strategic priorities, are complex & overlapping. How do we deal with sustainability? Policy development trajectory
…any robust information that helps to turn a Departments strategic priorities into something concrete, manageable and achievable. The nature of the evidence you need is proportional to the nature of the risk associated with the decision that is being made. Evidence for policy is…
Evidence is: Facts (data, known trends), judgements, opinions, analyses, syntheses, arguments, costings, reviews, qualitative & quantitative survey data Analysis is: Lines of argument (strategy-policy), research, interpretation What is evidence and analysis?
…but the evidence base is built upon Data Lines of argument (analysis) Stakeholder opinions Decision makers like numbers…
Evidence-based policy making is not a sacred cow: There are policies that: Use good information… … and use it well … … and use it poorly … Use poor information …
Analysis & evidence for policy Procuring, managing and carrying out research to provide new evidence Scoping the issue, asking the question, deciding what sort of evidence is needed Interpreting & applying new or existing evidence, monitoring & evaluating the policy once implemented Evidence and analysis needed rapidly to answer pressing policy questions Longer-term policy and strategy development
Components of robust evidence & analysis (supply side) Is the evidence credible? Can we make generalisations from it? Is it reliable enough for M&E or impact assessments? Is it objective? How do we account for bias? Is it rooted in an understanding of the framing assumptions?
Components of robust evidence & analysis (demand side) Is the evidence policy relevant? Is it timely? Has it been delivered fast enough to inform policy decisions? Is it accessible to all key stakeholders, not just researchers? Is the evidence cost-effective? Is it interdisciplinary enough to address cross-cutting issues?
Scoping the issue, asking the question, deciding what sort of evidence is needed Procuring, managing and carrying out new research Interpreting & applying new or existing evidence, monitoring & evaluating the policy once implemented Quality assessment, peer review, advisory councils, G2000 Negotiate how to apply the evidence; consultancy role Negotiate the question, advise on alternative sources of evidence The role of analysts… …is to provide appropriate evidence & analysis throughout the policy making process
A smaller policy core wont have time to do the integration Intelligent customers need intelligent suppliers Multiple tools: social, economic, modelling, scientific, technical, institutional analysis… Help policy makers lift their eyes from their desks to see what is possible but Help them maintain their focus on the deliverable. The role of analysts
Defras Evidence & Innovation Strategy: Matching supply-side and demand-side criteria Based on the question does it make good policy? rather than is it good science? Develop a clear line of sight between policy priorities and evidence provision – for efficient delivery Analyse in relation to the policy cycle – evidence needs change from strategy through to delivery Need a better understanding of innovation EBPM in practice
the need to answer policys immediate questions…(with robust & cost-efficient evidence) while developing their role…(as people who understand policy processes) to underpin broader & more strategic approaches to policy (involving other evidence providers, particularly other disciplines) How can analysts balance…
Selected Bibliography Shaxson, L.J. (2005) Is your evidence robust enough? Questions for policy makers and practitioners. Journal of Evidence & Policy 1(1): / /art00006 Evidence-based policy making: guidance for policy makers. Available at Jones, K.E. (2005) Understanding risk in everyday policy making. Defra: UK. Available at Defra (2005) Evidence & Innovation Strategy 2005–2008 (Part 1: Aims of the consultation / introduction). Available at %20Parts/Part%20I.pdf
RAPID Stuff ODI Working Papers Bridging Research and Policy Book Meeting series Monograph RAPID Briefing Paper Tools for Policy Impact Communication Tools Policymaker Tools RAPID CDROM