CREATING AND USING EVIDENCE
Different strategies for using data are needed, depending on the institution, policy or individuals in question. In this post, Josh Powell, Chief Strategy Officer at the Development Gateway weighs in on the 'data and development' debate.
Developing strong recommendations is critical to ensuring that policy decisions are informed by evidence. In this post, Leandro Echt, General Coordinator of Politics & Ideas, offers some criteria to consider in developing good policy recommendations for decision-makers.
The inevitable chaos and unpredictability of politics makes trying to achieve policy change a real challenge. But that doesn’t mean academics should just give up. Drawing from policy analysis and public affairs lessons in the UK, James Lloyd, Director of the London-based think tank the Strategic Society Centre, recommends six steps to get researchers going in the right direction towards achieving policy change.
How can researchers have impact in a political landscape in which public opinion is shaped more by emotion and personal belief than evidence? Following the selection of ‘post-truth’ as the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2016, Ruth Dixon takes inspiration from artist Grayson Perry’s plea that academics should cultivate greater emotional understanding of those with whom they disagree. It’s time for political scientists to question, with some humility, their own ‘deficit model’ of the public understanding of politics. This post originally appeared on the author's personal blog and was reposted on the LSE Impact Blog. It appears here with the author's permission.
Social sciences can undoubtedly benefit from developments in computational tools for data collection and analysis, as well as the growing accessibility and availability of data sources. However, Marta Stelmaszak and Philipp Hukal flag the importance of continued careful reflection when using new forms of data and methods in this sphere, particularly reflection on and investigation of the mechanisms that generate and manipulate information up to the point of collection. It is this reflection and investigation, they argue, that sets social science apart from data science. This post was originally published on the LSE Impact Blog as part of its digital methodologies series.
We love evidence at Power to Persuade, and advocate for evidence-based approaches. But there are times when the definition of “evidence” can detract from effectiveness. In today’s post, Lanie Stockman, Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand’s Outcomes and Evaluation Specialist, argues for ensuring evidence collection remain manageable and respectful of programs and their clients.
In recent years, think tanks have been beset by financial constraints, increased competition, and, more recently, a growing questioning of, and popular dissatisfaction with, the role of the ‘expert’ itself. Marcos Gonzalez Hernando, Diane Stone and Hartwig Pautz examine each of these challenges and find that, at a time of huge over-supply of (occasionally dubious) evidence and policy analysis from a variety of sources, think tanks have an opportunity to reinvent themselves as organisations able to discern the reliability and usefulness of policy advice.
Complexity theorists often make bold claims about its potential to represent a scientific revolution that it will change the way we think about, and study, the natural and social world. In public policy. In this post, Paul Cairney and Robert Geyer talk about their new Handbook of Complexity and Public Policy, and how it suggests complexity can offer us new insights and normative tools to respond to a wicked world in novel and pragmatic ways.
It’s no longer enough for researchers to simply publish their findings. To have a real world impact on an issue like tobacco control, researchers need to work in partnership with policy makers, experts and the community, says Emily Banks from @SaxInstitute.
Is evidence-based policymaking "naïve and dystopian"? In this post, Devaki Nambiar (Research Scientist at the Public Health Foundation of India and a Member of the Social Science Approaches for Research and Engagement in Health Policy & Systems (SHAPES) and Translating Evidence into Action Thematic Working Groups of Health Systems Global) argues that for research knowledge to inform policy, it must be 'translated' by a range of other players who can make it 'culturally salient and institutionally viable'. This post originally appeared on the Health Systems Global website.