Evidence-based policy (EBP) is a discourse or set of methods which informs the policy process, rather than aiming to directly affect the eventual goals of the policy. It advocates a more rational, rigorous and systematic approach. The pursuit of EBP is based on the premise that policy decisions should be better informed by available evidence and should include rational analysis. This is because policy which is based on systematic evidence is seen to produce better outcomes. The approach has also come to incorporate evidence-based practices.
Over the last decade, the UK government has been promoting the concept of EBP. Our partners in the South constantly ask about what is happening in the UK regarding EBP and what can they learn from the UK experience.
The aim of this work is to identify lessons and approaches from EBP in the UK which may be valuable to developing countries. The issues, approaches and tools presented are based on the assumption that the reader is a progressive policymaker in a developing country, who is interested in utilising EBP. The focus is on policymakers within the public sector, rather than those working within the private sector or civil society.