The way that evidence for policy is organized, differs strongly per country or region in the world. In the Anglo-Saxon culture we see Chief Government scientists, organizing the impact of science form inside the Ministries. In 2010, the UK Prime Minister has successfully launched its What Works Networks with their related Behavior Insight Teams. In the US, we have seen What Works Cities and the “data for evidence” initiatives, started at the White House. Moreover, in January 2019, the US federal government has signed into law the “Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act”. In the European Union in 2016, the Science Advice mechanism has evolved and Joint Research Centres play a role. The Netherlands has its Central Policy Analysis Agencies. In Singapore we see a National Research Council, housed at the Prime Minister’s Office.
Especially in democracies, evidence for policy is needed and needs to be robust. Bringing together the managers of these processes will create new insights and mutual benefits. This conference has the aim to bring together these experts worldwide to learn which methods and instruments can be applied for which situations and how they may improve the quality of evidence provided.
The conference will treat a range of issues that influence our capacity to enhance the development and practical use of evidence for policymakers. Our PAC (see hereunder) will advise us in defining them. A short list of issues may include:
- Definitions of “evidence” and “evidence informed policymaking”
- How to convince policymakers to use evidence
- Ex post evidence and ex ante evidence
- How does evidence lead to more effective policymaking
- Structured data for policymakers
- Internal organization of evidence within government
- Evidence for politicians and parliaments
- Enhancing the usability of research from universities and science councils
- Effective use of algorithms for policymakers