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What works?Evidence-based policy and practice in public services$
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Huw T.O. Davies, Sandra M. Nutley, and Peter C. Smith

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9781861341914

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861341914.001.0001

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Evidence and the policy process

Evidence and the policy process

(p.12) (p.13) Two Evidence and the policy process
What works?

Sandra Nutley

Jeff Webb

Policy Press

This chapter sets out the generic role of evidence as it relates to policy in the UK. It focuses on the policy process and emphasises the many influences that come together to make policy, of which evidence is only one element. The chapter puts forward a range of models of the policy process such as rationality, ‘satisficing’, incrementalism, and mixed scanning. Evidence is likely to play a different role depending on which of these models holds. There may be considerable variations in the type of models that hold sway in different service areas in the UK public sector. The chapter also discusses the various roles that evidence might play in the policy making process, of which informing on ‘what works’ may be only one.

Keywords:   UK public sector, evidence, policy process, rationality, incrementalism, mixed scanning

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