Debate on the types of evidence relevant for policymaking

Two articles here that were highlighted in a post from the National Prevention Science Coalition

Interesting article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review discussing "what counts" as evidence for evidence-based policy making.

Defining Evidence Down

With evidence-based policy, we need to acknowledge that some evidence is more valid than others. Pretending all evidence is equal will only preserve the status quo.


By Patrick Lester Jul. 14, 2016
Each year governments spend billions of dollars on programs addressing poverty, education, health, and other social issues. Unfortunately, only a small fraction of these funds are being spent on programs with strong evidence that they work.
Evidence-based policy—sometimes called "Moneyball for Government"—is a small, but growing, effort to change this. But, just as it is getting started, is it on the verge of a major shift? Yes, according to a group of contrarian thinkers who believe that the dominant evidence paradigm in US social policy is too narrowly focused on replicating programs evaluated with randomized controlled trials.

Persistent misunderstandings about evidence-based (sorry: informed!) policy-making
Pierre-Olivier BédardEmail author and Mathieu Ouimet
Archives of Public HealthThe official journal of the Belgian Public Health Association201674:31
DOI: 10.1186/s13690-016-0142-z©  The Author(s) 2016
Received: 5 February 2016Accepted: 19 May 2016Published: 20 July 2016