Category: evidence

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

To make PhDs fit for the 21st century we need to develop evidence based policies

The growth of PhD level education globally and in the UK has changed the nature of what it means to be a PhD holder. However, despite there being more PhDs and more value placed on producing them, there is still a severely limited evidence base for understanding PhD outcomes. Drawing on their recent working paper, Sally Hancock and Paul Wakeling […]

Evidence matters, but ideas shape policy in more fundamental ways than we might realise

Evidence-based policy-making can be problematic in practice, especially if the evidence is uncertain. Based on a case study concerning the formation of a national-level policy position in Ireland in response to an EU initiative, Niamh Hardiman and Saliha Metinsoy suggest that policy makers’ decisions may well be guided by beliefs that go beyond the direct evidence available. Ideas can be so deep-rooted that they […]

The messiness inherent to policymaking is a real challenge – can evidence alone outshine tribal instincts?

The Policy Institute at King’s University are working hard to challenge the notion that policymaking is too complex for evidence to play a substantial role. But the fact that little has changed to improve the evidence base in policymaking suggests that our current models are broken. Jonathan Grant, Benedict Wilkinson and David Willetts MP weigh in on how to explore new […]