Building Capacity for Evidence-Informed Policy-Making
Lessons from Country Experiences
This report analyses the skills and capacities governments need to strengthen evidence-informed
policy-making (EIPM) and identifies a range of possible interventions that are available
to foster greater uptake of evidence. Increasing governments’ capacity for evidence-informed
is a critical part of good public governance. However, an effective connection between
the supply and the demand for evidence in the policy-making process remains elusive.
This report offers concrete tools and a set of good practices for how the public sector
can support senior officials, experts and advisors working at the political/administrative
interface. This support entails investing in capability, opportunity and motivation
and through behavioral changes. The report identifies a core skillset for EIPM at
the individual level, including the capacity for understanding, obtaining, assessing,
using, engaging with stakeholders, and applying evidence, which wasdeveloped in collaboration
with the European Commission Joint Research Centre.
It also identifies a set of capacities at the organisational level that can be put
in place across the machinery of government, throughout the role of interventions,
strategies and tools to strengthen these capacities. The report concludes with a set
of recommendations to assist governments in building their capacities.
This report addresses core challenges faced by Governments to maintain trust in decision making in a complex, fragmented and unpredictable environment, which is compounded by the COVID 19 crisis. Evidence-informed policy-making can play a crucial role in designing, implementing and delivering better public policies and maintain quality public services during the pandemic. However, countries are facing a number of barriers, in terms of institutional shortcomings, skills and capacity gaps. Many lack of an effective knowledge-brokering function to ensure that the outcomes of expertise and science can feed into decision-making processes in the right format and at the right time.
The OECD report presents the skills and capacities governments need to strengthen evidence-informed policymaking. It identifies a range of policy interventions at the individual organisation and institutional levels. The report identifies the individual skills to understand, obtain, interrogate and assess, use and apply evidence; as well as, the capacity to engage with stakeholders and evaluate the success of evidence-informed policy-making. Beyond this, the report recognises that building capacity for uptake of evidence also requires strengthening organisational tools, resources and processes, investing in data management systems and knowledge brokerage. This also requires strengthening strategic capacity in the public sector to facilitate an evidence-driven decision-making culture.
This work benefited from a fruitful collaboration with the European Union Joint Research Centre –JRC and groups of high level experts, through various conferences and workshops. These events and the collaborative engagement with a broad community including through the OECD Public Governance Committee helped to identify a wealth of experiences in addressing use of evidence, which have fed into the report.
The report will be released during the introductory event of the series of workshops on “Science for policymaking at the centre of national government” organised by the Joint Research Centre.