From policy transfer to policy translation: the role of evidence in policy borrowing

Catherine Needham

in Evidence, policy and practice

Published by Policy Press

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9781847423191
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447302254 | DOI:
From policy transfer to policy translation: the role of evidence in policy borrowing

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This chapter examines how policies transfer from one government department or state to another, exploring how far such moves are evidence-driven and what the mechanisms and channels of transfer are likely to be. Within health and social care, there are a number of initiatives that have been lent or borrowed — some internationally, some between departments. These include policies such as the Patient's Charter, expert patient programmes and individual budgets. An extensive literature has grown up around the concept of policy transfer to explain how transfers such as these occur, offering possible explanations about the how, why and when of transfer. However, this approach relies on a systematic account of the transfer process that has come under increasing attack. As a result, the concept of translation has developed as an alternative approach to explain why and how policies migrate from one setting to another. The chapter considers these two approaches in some depth, and then applies their insights to a case study of personal budgets in social care.

Keywords: policy transfer; policy translation; health care policy; social policy; personal budgets; social care

Chapter.  6721 words. 

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