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Evidence, policy and practiceCritical perspectives in health and social care$
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Jon Glasby

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781847423191

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847423191.001.0001

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The policy process

The policy process

‘If only policy makers would engage with our evidence, we’d get better policy’

(p.10) (p.11) two The policy process
Evidence, policy and practice

Martin Powell

Policy Press

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

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