Policy Practitioners Final R1.pdf (281.79 kB)

Policy practitioners’ accounts of evidence-based policy making: the case of universal credit

Download (281.79 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 25.09.2018 by Mark Monaghan, Jo Ingold
This paper draws on insider accounts from UK Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) officials to analyse the relationship between evidence and policy making at a time of rapid policy development relating to Universal Credit (UC). The paper argues, firstly, that evidence selection within the DWP was constrained by the overarching austerity paradigm, which constituted a Zeitgeist and had a significant bearing on the evidence selection and translation process, sharpening the focus of policy officials and analysts on the primacy of quantitative evidence when advising Ministers. Secondly, while methodological preferences (or an ‘evidence hierarchy’) impacted on evidence selection, this was not as significant as practitioners’ perceived capabilities to handle and develop evidence for policy. These capabilities were linked to departmental structures and constrained by political feasibility. Together, these dimensions constituted a significant filtration mechanism determining the kinds of evidence that were selected for policy development and those omitted, particularly in relation to UC. The paper contributes to debates about the contemporary role of evidence in policymaking and the potential of the relationship between future evidence production and use.

Funding

The research was carried out with a small grant from the Higher Education Innovation Fund.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies

Published in

Journal of Social Policy

Pages

1 - 18

Citation

MONAGHAN, M.P. and INGOLD, J., 2018. Policy practitioners’ accounts of evidence-based policy making: the case of universal credit. Journal of Social Policy, 48 (2), pp.351-368.

Publisher

© Cambridge University Press

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Acceptance date

17/07/2018

Publication date

2018

Notes

This article has been published in a revised form in Journal of Social Policy http://doi.org/10.1017/S004727941800051X. This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works. © Cambridge University Press.

ISSN

0047-2794

eISSN

1469-7823

Language

en

Exports

Logo branding

Keyword(s)

Exports