An article examined the growing interest in outcome-based social policy-making. It highlighted the importance of the attribution problem – how to attribute changes in outcomes to specific social policies. A 'cause-and-effect' policy modelling approach could partially tackle the attribution problem, but had inherent limitations: it was inappropriate in certain fields, given the existing state of knowledge of social policy systems.
Source: Tony Bovaird, 'Attributing outcomes to social policy interventions – "gold standard" or "fool's gold" in public policy and management?', Social Policy and Administration, Volume 48 Number 1
An article examined the use of evidence by policy-makers, updating an earlier systematic review on the topic. The article said that the most important factors in influencing use of evidence were: timely access to research evidence of appropriate relevance and quality; collaborations with policymakers; and relationship- and skills-building with policymakers. It noted that empirical data about policy processes or implementation were not widely available, and made recommendations for future research and policy.
Source: Kathryn Oliver, Simon Innvar, Theo Lorenc, Jenny Woodman, and James Thomas, 'A systematic review of barriers to and facilitators of the use of evidence by policymakers', BMC Health Services Research, Volume 14 Issue 2