How do policy workers actually use academic research and advice? While there are several recent studies regarding this question from other Westminster jurisdictions, similar academic studies have been rare in New Zealand. So far, most of the local research in this field has been conducted by the prime minister’s chief science advisor and the Office of the Prime Minister’s Science Advisory Committee, with the particular instrumental purpose of improving the government’s ministries and agencies’ ‘use of evidence in both the formation and evaluation of policy’. However, none of these studies have asked how, and to what extent, policy workers in government are utilising academic research in their everyday work.
Karl Löfgren is Associate Professor in the School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington. Donatella Cavagnoli was a researcher with the School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington.