This book provides a timely and novel contribution to understanding and enhancing evidence use. It builds on and complements the popular and best-selling "What Works?: Evidence-based policy and practice in public services" (Davies, Nutley and Smith, Policy Press, 2000), by drawing together current knowledge about how research gets used and how this can be encouraged and improved. In particular, the authors explore various multidiscipliary frameworks for understanding the research use agenda; consider how research use and the impact of research can be assessed; summarise the empirical evidence from the education, health care, social care and criminal justice fields about how research is used and how this can be improved and draw out practical issues that need to be addressed if research is to have greater impact on public services. "Using evidence" is important reading for university and government researchers, research funding bodies, public service managers and professionals, and students of public policy and management. It will also prove an invaluable guide for anyone involved in the implementation of evidence-based policy and practice.
What counts is what works - but how can we actually tell what works? And what can we do with such knowledge to influence policy and practice?
As all parts of the public sector embrace 'evidence' as a means of providing more effective and effcient public services, this book provides a timely and novel contribution to such debates.
The authors consider the role of evidence in specific public policy areas (healthcare, education, criminal justice, social care, welfare, housing, transport and urban renewal), using experts in each field to explore the creation, dissemination and use of evidence within each. They consider in particular:
•How is research evidence of service effectiveness created?
•How does such evidence shape policy and influence service delivery?
•What efforts are being made to encourage greater utilisation of evidence in policy and practice?
The rich cross-sectoral accounts of the many and diverse activities in each sector provide an insight into the ebb and flow of evidence as guidance to policy and practice. 'What works?' develops perceptive analyses of outstanding problems, and raises challenging agendas for service development and future research.
The authors conclude with the all-important question of the implementation of evidence-based practice and lead the way to the reinvigoration of innovative thinking.
With its relevance to both cutting-edge practice and research, this book is important reading for a wide range of managers and professionals in different sectors, as well as students and academics studying public policy, public administration, and social policy and management.