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PPGPortal > Home > Concept Dictionary > D, E > Evidence Based Policy

Evidence Based Policy

Policy development and implementation which uses convincing research and designs to develop and maintain a robust evidence base from which to develop policy options.

(Phil Oreopoulos, Toronto PPG 1004H)


Evidence based policy emphasizes credible causal inference, with random assignment setting the gold standard for evidence of causal relationships.

Pam Bryant & Janet Mason note that evidence is often perceived to be only one piece of the policy making puzzle, where political appetite or existing regulatory frameworks and path dependency may also have influence. Due to the requirements that are often placed on policy success with regards to evaluation and performance outcomes – evidence is an important aspect of policy success. Using evaluative mechanisms, practitioners are often faced with the task of demonstrating the need for the policy, as well as the positive effects that the policy is having on target groups



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School of Public Policy and Governance