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date: 23 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Evidence-informed policy is a deliberate process that features analysis of evidence as a necessary step to reaching a public policy decision. Risk is inherent in policy decisions, and decision-makers must often balance consideration of costs; social, economic, and environmental impacts; differential outcomes for various stakeholders; and political considerations. Policymakers rely on evidence to help reduce uncertainty and mitigate these risks. This chapter considers the policymaking process as infrastructure and takes a constructivist approach to the development of evidence. It highlights the reflexivity between the demand for, and supply of, evidence and issues of power, authority, expertise, and inclusion. Finally, the chapter addresses the challenges of applying evidence to complex problems where multiple, heterogeneous variables affect outcomes and concludes with a call for further research to examine the decisions, values, and norms embedded in the design and development of the technical architectures and processes used in policy analysis and decision support.

Keywords: policy, evidence, decisions, evidence-informed policy, public policy decision, policymaking process

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