Eurydice comparative report on education policy and the role of evidence

There is a new Eurydice report and while the topic is very relevant and interesting, I do think it’s only a start.

What is it all about?

Having a solid evidence base is essential for effective policy-making in the education sector. In practice the mechanisms used to support evidence-based policy-making differ significantly between countries.

This report describes the mechanisms and practices that support evidence-based policy-making in the education sector in Europe. It provides an initial mapping of a complex area. It compares institutions and practices in evidence-based policy-making, as well as the accessibility, and mediation, of evidence. The report also presents more detailed information, with specific examples of the use of evidence in policy formulation for each individual country.

Information was provided by Eurydice National Units and covers the 28 EU Member States as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, and Turkey.

I suggest you do read the full report, but for who wants to know the main conclusion:

There are two main findings arising from this initial mapping of support mechanisms for evidence- based policy-making. First, most countries reported official arrangements with a large variety of organisations which could potentially provide evidence. However, these arrangements ranged from strict rules prescribed in legislation to more loose guidelines about who should provide evidence and who should be consulted during the policy-making process. Second, there were both internal and external knowledge brokers who were given the task of interpreting evidence and mediating between research providers and policy-makers. However, only about a third of the countries reported such arrangements and so they are not in the majority.

If you want to know why I am still hungry for – much – more check this:

The limited scope of this report did not allow for a detailed examination of evidence-based policy- making, but it raised some questions that could be explored in more detail in the future. For example, how does the type of political system affect the way in which support mechanisms for evidence-based policy-making develop? There may be differences depending on the complexity of the system (one level vs multi-level governance). Moreover, a more detailed picture could be formed by examining a limited number of case studies in a more comprehensive way. Also, the question of how evidence influences policy could be examined in more detail.

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