A toolkit for progressive policymakers in developing Countries

A toolkit for progressive policymakers in developing Countries

Lessons from UK for policy making in developing countries

Over the last decade the UK government has been promoting the concept of ‘evidence-based policy’ (EBP). This toolkit aims to identify lessons and approaches from EBP in the UK, which may be valuable for developing countries.

EBP is an approach that ‘helps people make well informed decisions about policies, programmes and projects by putting the best available evidence from research at the heart of policy development and implementation. The pursuit of EBP is based on the premise that policy decisions should be better informed by available evidence, and should include rational analysis. This is because policy and practice, which are based on systematic evidence, are seen to produce better outcomes.

The toolkit first highlights the central debates surrounding the issue of EBP. It then focuses on the practical means existing in the UK to integrate evidence into policy. This section puts forward some general approaches promoted in the UK.It then reveals some more specific tools that are used in the UK. Neither of these two sections is exhaustive; only some of the possible approaches and tools available are represented.

The authors say that to change the status quo towards EBP within government departments, policymakers need to understand the value of evidence; become more informed as to what research is available and how to gain access to it; and be able to critically appraise it. The relationship will only work if researchers and policymakers work more closely together to ensure that there is an agreement, between them and within the research community, as to what constitutes evidence.