Category: Evidence-based Policy

The hard labour of connecting research to policy during COVID-19

The worlds of policy and academia are often distant and can be difficult to span. In this post Kathryn Oliver and Annette Boaz reflect on their experience of working in the Government Office for Science to help produce the government’s new Areas of Research Interest and the particular challenges involved in establishing and mobilising networks … Continued

Building new bridges between research and policy during a national lockdown

Annette Boaz and Kathryn Oliver are social scientists with expertise in production and use of evidence for, policy. In this blogpost, they reflect on their recent experiences putting their knowledge into practice at the heart of government during a national lockdown. They describe the significant changes they had to make to their planned programme of … Continued

‘The government is following the science’: Why is the translation of evidence into policy generating so much controversy?

In the UK, the government has presented itself as guided by scientific evidence in its policy responses to COVID-19. This has led to science, in particular epidemiology, itself becoming politicised and contested. However, neither the politicisation of science nor questions surrounding the status of evidence are new. In this post, Luis Pérez-González, outlines how a … Continued

Policymaking in a pandemic must be decisive, transparent and inclusive

In a pandemic, policymakers have to deal with uncertainty and rapidly evolving information. Ramathi Bandaranayake and Merl Chandana use examples from COVID-19 to draw guidance for how policymakers might respond to these challenges. They argue that Quick, decisive, transparent and inclusive policy is key to successfully responding to pandemics and their socioeconomic effects.   Responding … Continued

Evidence-based policy and other myths. What researchers need to know to influence government.

Research has an important role to play in the creation of good policy. However, academics often struggle to communicate their research in a language that politicians understand. Naomi Eisenstadt CB draws on over thirty years of experience at senior levels of government and policy, to outline what researchers need to know to influence government and three … Continued

Between science and policy—Scrutinising the role of SAGE in providing scientific advice to government

Reflecting on his role as chair of the Science and Technology Select Committee, Greg Clark MP, discusses the effectiveness of the UK’s scientific advisory body SAGE during the COVID-19 pandemic and considers the importance of transparency in assessing the extent to which scientific research can effectively guide government policy.   Since March, the Committee that … Continued

When evidence does not matter – What Brazil teaches us about the fragility of evidence based policymaking

An underlying assumption of modern political states is that they are rational systems that ‘follow the science’ to achieve optimal outcomes for their citizens. Whilst COVID-19 continues to foreground the strengths and weaknesses of different national scientific advice systems, Flavia Donadelli draws on evidence from Brazilian policymaking to argue that evidence informed policymaking is a … Continued

Evidence for Policy in the Wake of COVID-19: Short – Medium – Long Term Impacts

COVID-19 has rapidly and radically reshaped interactions between academics and policymakers and the kinds of evidence being used to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this post, Vivian Tseng, considers how research-policy relationships might develop in the short, medium to long term and how research funders might seize opportunities presented by COVID-19 to design equity-centred … Continued

The civil service doesn’t just need more scientists – it needs a decision-making revolution

In the UK, the election of a new government has seen a renewed focus on research policy and the use of evidence in policymaking. In this repost, David Rose, Mark Burgman and William Sutherland, draw on their experiecnces of working within different government departments, to consider how evidence is currently used by the civil service and to set out an … Continued

To improve the global evidence ecosystem we need to listen to the Global South.

Drawing on their recent study of South Africa’s evidence ecosystem, Ruth Stewart, Harsha Dayal, Laurenz Langer and Carina van Rooyen, show how the global north has much to learn from evidence ecosystems in the global south. Outlining five lessons that can be learnt from the South African evidence ecosystem, they argue that if notions of … Continued