Category: policymaking

Who benefits from data for good?

The central proposition of ‘data for good’ is that corporations should publicly share data sets derived from their business activities across various areas of the economy to improve and guide policymaking. Based on their study of contributors to the Bi…

Analysts, Advocates and Applicators – Understanding and engaging with different actors in the evidence for policy movement

Superficially connecting evidence to policy might seem like singular process that brings together different actors towards a common end. However, drawing on a qualitative study of professionals in the evidence – policy field, Jasper Montana and James W…

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

The (il)logic of legibility – Why governments should stop simplifying complex systems

Thea Snow, discusses how the desire to make complex systems ‘legible’ can serve to constrain policymaking and lead to decisions that reproduce an idealised, legible, but fundamentally limited vision of the world around us.  Sometimes, you learn about an idea that really sticks with you. This happened to me recently when I learnt about “legibility” … Continued

To shape policy with evidence, we should celebrate both good practice and good theory

As the famous saying attributed to Kurt Lewin goes, “there is nothing as practical as a good theory”. In this post James Georgalakis makes the case that bridging the gap between theory and practice is not simply a matter of more refined communication, but of creating structures in which policy influencers and academics can productively … 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

How I wrote and published a book about the economics of coronavirus in a month

This post by roundtable panellist Joshua Gans was originally published in May by The Conversation This is the seventh post in a six-week series: Rapid or Rushed? exploring rapid response publishing in covid times. As part of the series, there will be a virtual roundtable on Friday 6th November, 1.30pm featuring Professor Joshua Gans (Economics in the Age of … Continued

The Pandemic Needs an Information Solution

This is the sixth post in a six-week series: Rapid or Rushed? exploring rapid response publishing in covid times. As part of the series, there will be a virtual roundtable on Friday 6th November, 1.30pm featuring Professor Joshua Gans (Economics in the Age of COVID-19, MIT Press) and Richard Horton (The COVID-19 Catastrophe, Polity Press and Editor of The … Continued

Common policy problems and what researchers can do about them

Impacting policy is difficult, not only because of the challenges translating research into policy-speak but also because of challenges inherent in the policymaking process itself. These include: the siloed nature of working, the lack of focus on prevention and imperatives for ministers to pursue short-term solutions. In this post, Raj Patel outlines these problems and … Continued