Applying knowledge to problems has occupied the minds of great philosophers, scientists and other thinkers for centuries. In more modern times, the challenge of connecting knowledge to practice has been addressed through fields such as evidence-based medicine which have conceptualised optimal healthcare as integration of best available research evidence, clinical experience and patients’ values. Similar principles apply to evidence-based public policy, and literature in this field has been growing since the turn of the century.
The exponential rise in knowledge availability has greatly enhanced the ‘supply’ side of the evidence-into-practice equation – however substantial gaps between evidence and practice remain. Policymakers are therefore increasingly looking to academia to optimise evidence-informed policy. This article presents ten considerations for optimising evidence-based policy, drawn from experience in delivering applied behaviour change research to government.