This chapter examines the policy process (rational and incremental models), the place of evaluation within the policy process and typologies of using evidence, before focusing on evidence-based policy making (EBPM). It argues that, EBPM is not evidence-based management. Moreover, it is possible to throw out the baby with the bathwater. ‘Objectivity’ is better than ‘applying tricks’ to the data. Stronger evidence is better than weaker evidence. Systematic reviews are superior to a quick dip into the literature, and relevant randomized controlled trials are superior to the ‘aromatherapy worked for Mr/Mrs Smiths’ approach. It is very unlikely that EBPM can ever — or perhaps should ever — be the norm. However, if the term continues to be used, it should have some meaning beyond a justification for more resources.
Keywords: health care policy; social care policy; evidence-based policy making; evaluation
Chapter. 7466 words.
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