'There are a number of things that successful policy-makers can do, such as use a range of tools to bring the evidence to life."
Chris Henning, PA Governemnt Expert
PA Consulting Group looks at how policy-making means bringing enough evidence to the table to facilitate a mutually beneficial dialogue between policy-makers and their stakeholders.
Evidence-based policy-making has been a theme of the last decade in UK public policy. Early in this administration’s history, the 1999 Modernising Government White Paper set the ambition that ‘this government expects more of policy-makers. More new ideas, more willingness to question inherited ways of doing things, better use of evidence and research in policy-making and better focus on policies that will deliver long-term goals'.
By using evidence as the basis for policy-making (rather than, say, dogma or the power of particular interests), the Government had hoped to build up trust in the way that it makes and implements its decisions.
For example, while recognising the power of quantitative analysis, there are also a wide variety of methodologies which can throw light on different aspects of problems in a more qualitative way, such as scenario planning, system dynamics and customer experience modelling. These methodologies can be used to help explain expected outcomes to stakeholders, test alternative delivery methods and mitigate specific risks or issues. They result in better policy that is implemented in a more effective way.
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