Evidence-based policy

From Encyklopedia Administracji Publicznej

EVIDENCE-BASED POLICY (EBP) – an assumption and postulate relating to the public sphere that decisions are made on the basis of objective facts, hard data. This applies in particular to the cycle of conducting public policies: analysis of a public problem, designing solutions, their implementation, evaluation, adaptation. Such data may be quantitative research (e.g. satisfaction surveys of customers of the office) and qualitative (e.g. focused group interviews), as well as the results of inspections, citizens’ applications and complaints, financial statements, etc. The implementation of this postulate is aimed at avoiding a situation where decisions are based on incomplete or unreliable information, subjective feelings, intuition. However, it does not seem possible to fully base every decision on evidence. The justification for this may also be the values held by the political decision-maker (e.g. leftist or right-wing). For this reason, some experts talk about documented policy development – evidence informed policy making. An important aspect of conducting evidence-based policy is data availability and the ability to analyse it – both at the official and political level. The concept of EBP has been imported into political science from medical science (in which the basis of effective treatment is the correct diagnosis, conducting research and its appropriate analysis, interview with the patient, etc.). In a broader sense, EBP refers to epistemology (the theory of cognition) – a branch of philosophy that studies sources of truth/knowledge. This source can be experience (empiricism), reason (rationalism), intuition, faith. (→ public policies) [Ł. Świetlikowski]

Literature: Wprowadzenie do nauk o polityce publicznej [Introduction to the sciences of public policy], ed. M. Zawicki, Warszawa 2013 ■ A. Zybała, Polityki publiczne: doświadczenia w tworzeniu i wykonywaniu programów publicznych w Polsce i w innych krajach. Jak działa państwo, gdy zamierza (chce) musi rozwiązać zbiorowe problemy swoich obywateli? [Public policies: experiences in creating and executing public programmes in Poland and other countries. How does the state act when it intends (wants) to solve the collective problems of its citizens?], Warszawa 2012.