When thinking about how policy influences practice it is important to understand the interaction of both internal and external policies. Inevitably there will be both polices that are outside of an agency or department’s control and those that have been created, strengthened or propagated within it. Regardless of whether a policy is created internally or by a legislature, policies should be thoughtful, involve stakeholder input and use the best available research and evidence to ensure the intended outcome.
In the Policy section of this website you will find: resources for policy makers, organizational policy positions and information for decision makers and State Administering Agencies (SAA) that will help with the development of internal policies. In the future this section will also include information on grant making and management, examples of policy evaluations and examples of evidence based policies.
What is Evidence-Based Policy?
Evidence-based policy draws on careful data collection, experimentation, and both quantitative and qualitative analysis to answer three questions: What exactly is the problem? What are the possible ways to address the problem? And what are the probable results and costs of each? A fourth question that figures into all public policy decisions – What political and social values do the proposed options reflect? – is largely outside the scope of evidence-based policy. Nevertheless, hard evidence and analysis can bound the political battlefield, help build consensus, and identify the social and economic costs of different policy choices.1
1Dunworth, Terry, Hannaway, Jane, Holahan, Joyhn, and Turner, Margery A. "The Case for Evidence-Based Policy: Beyond Ideology, Politics, and Guesswork." Urban Institute: Research of Record. Revised 2008.