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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

Evaluating Policy Research

Research Report by Caroline Pestieau

In this paper Caroline Pestieau aims to expand understanding of research that’s undertaken to advance public policy and how can best be evaluated. In her analysis, she defines public policy very broadly to include both policy decisions and the means through which policy is developed. There are two distinct parts to this paper.

In the first part, Pestieau explores expectations about the influence of research on policy. She looks at how and when research findings are used by policy-makers, and why research findings are not used more often. She argues that a research institute or network can play an integral role in the public policy process by bringing new issues to public attention, reframing old issues in new contexts, bringing different stakeholders to the table, and illustrating how others have addressed similar issues using illustrative examples.

In the second part of her article, Pestieau explores how a policy network’s contribution to policy development can best be evaluated; she asks, in other words, how such networks can add value to public policy. She argues that, from a policy institute perspective, ideal outcomes would be that policy-makers: take account of new knowledge to modify their priorities or agendas; consider different ways of tackling issues; acknowledge the importance of new issues; and, look for ways to address them. Pestieau concludes that policy institutes do add value to policy discussions, yet there is no means of quantifying their contributions.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): Caroline Pestieau;
Publisher: Canadian Policy Research Networks [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2003; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: National;
Registration Required: No Language: English French
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / Public Administration / Policy Process
Policy Articles / Public Administration / Policy Process / 2003
Policy Articles / Public Administration

Keywords / Tags:

public policy development; role of policy institutes/networks; evaluating research; evaluating contributions; public engagement;