Using Evidence to Inform Policy
Peter Lunn and Frances Ruane. Gill & Macmillan. €39.99
Using evidence to inform policy
Gill & McMillan
This well researched book makes a powerful case for the use of evidence in the making of policy, but also recognises that there is a complex relationship between that evidence and the determination and implementation of policy. The idealised picture of the contribution of evidence to policy in a modern society is at odds with reality, the authors say, and in practice it is often difficult to engineer a meeting of minds, irrespective of the data presented.
When the interface between researchers and policy-makers works well, it amounts to a systematic, sophisticated and efficient exchange of information and perspectives although it is one that it rarely without tension. Researchers often perceive policy-makers to be unreceptive to relevant research, ignorant of key finding and concepts and more concerned with managing immediate political agendas rather than developing good long term strategic policies.
The book covers a wide area including the economy, public infrastructure, innovation, competition, the labour market, financial regulation, and housing amongst others. It considers questions such as whether labour activation programmes work .