Case studies


An important mode of learning involves case studies, which are useful for relaying real-life experiences and for bridging the gap between theory and practice. Case studies rely upon the power of stories for learning and need to be sufficiently rich in setting the scene (the context and problems faced) and in telling causal stories involving actors, shaping factors and policy measures. In most cases, they are likely to take the form of written narrative, but other media, such as video, could also be exploited. As far as possible, they should be problem-oriented rather than a "flat" description of a particular experience.

Two different types of case study can be envisaged:

  • The most common case studies are likely to be those that feature how a country tackled a particular issue or used a particular policy instrument. In this way, country case studies will be embedded throughout the Platform to enrich its content and to lend practical insights.
  • Case studies in using the Platform could also be extremely useful for others wishing to utilise its guidance and resources and could constitute a space for mutual international learning.

It should be noted that case studies are distinct from repositories of information on, for example, policy measures carried out by different countries, as in the European Commission’s ERA-Watch database. The information in such repositories tends to be brief and highly structured and is mostly useful for directing users to following up on particular items of interest. Case studies, by contrast, should be relatively standalone rich descriptions that inform the Platform user of the challenges, solutions and trade-offs of taking particular courses of action in certain contexts.