Contributors to this highly original book address the many questions raised by researchers and policymakers about the complex and often uneasy relationship between evidence and policy from an international and interdisciplinary perspective. They explore both the institutions acting as evidence brokers and the different methods used to collect, assess and use evidence in a variety of national and international settings, by drawing on their experience of working in international contexts and in different disciplinary and policy environments, and in some cases analysing their own involvement in the evidence-based policy process. The policy areas covered range from national and state level economic and social policies more generally to specific areas of intervention, such as EU bio-fuels targets, the Active Ageing Index, mental health and media, the construction of second-language learning policies, microfinance and alcohol policy. The authors highlight the strengths and weaknesses, the use and abuse, or successes and failures, of different institutional and methodological approaches to evidence-based policy. They consider what elements of the lessons learned might be transferable across national and cultural boundaries, and if so under what conditions. This book was originally published as a special issue of Contemporary Social Science.
Linda Hantrais, FAcSS, is Emeritus Professor of European Social Policy at Loughborough University, UK, and Visiting Fellow at the LSE Centre for International Studies (tbc). Her research interests span international comparative research theory, methodology, management and practice, with particular reference to public policy and institutional structures in the European Union, and the relationship between socio-demographic trends and social policy.
Ashley Thomas Lenihan is a Fellow at the LSE Centre for International Studies and a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Law, Science, & Global Security at Georgetown University. Her research focuses on the political economy of international security, international law, and the relationship between social science research and the policymaking process.
Susanne MacGregor, FAcSS, is an Honorary Professor of Social Policy at LSHTM, and Emeritus Professor at Middlesex University. She has been a Scientific Adviser to the UK Department of Health and was Programme Coordinator for their Drug Misuse Research Initiative (2000-2008). She is a member of the UNRISD research collaboration: Towards universal social security in emerging economies.
Foreword David Canter
1. Evidence-based policy: exploring international and interdisciplinary insights Linda Hantrais, Ashley Thomas Lenihan and Susanne MacGregor
2. Institutionalising evidence-based policy: international insights into knowledge brokerage Ashley Thomas Lenihan
3. Using evidence to improve policy and practice: the UK What Works Centres Dan Bristow, Lauren Carter and Steve Martin
4. Evidence-based policy as iterative learning: the case of EU biofuels targets Karen Anderton and James R. Palmer
5. Creating and using the evidence base: the case of the Active Ageing Index Asghar Zaidi
6. Media and evidence-informed policy development: the case of mental health in Australia Carla Meurk, Harvey Whiteford, Brian Head, Wayne Hall and Nicholas Carah
7. Using evidence to reconstruct second-language learning policies in Estonia Tatjana Kiilo and Dagmar Kutsar
8. CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis: Dutch (economic) policy-making Edwin van de Haar
9. Evidence and the policy process from an Indian perspective Ruth Kattumuri
10. (Mis)use of evidence in microfinance programming in the global south: a critique Maren Duvendack and Kate Maclean
11. Evidence and alcohol policy: lessons from the Italian case Franca Beccaria
12. Evidence-based research, epidemiology and alcohol policy: a critique Alfred Uhl