Evidence-Based Policymaking : Envisioning a New Era of Theory, Research, and Practice book cover
2nd Edition

Evidence-Based Policymaking
Envisioning a New Era of Theory, Research, and Practice

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after April 8, 2021
ISBN 9780367523855
April 8, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
440 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The traditional story of how we do social policy in the United States reveals a disconnect between the research community, that is producing hundreds of studies relevant to public policy, and the policy community, that is making hundreds of decisions that would benefit from research evidence. Evidenced-Based Policymaking: Envisioning a New Era of Theory, Research, and Practice tells an even stronger, more substantiated story of all it will take to connect researchers and policymakers. This book offers a fresh look into what policymakers and the policy process are like, as told by policymakers themselves and the researchers who study and work with them.

New to the 2nd Edition:

  • The perspective of policymakers based on a remarkable new study of 225 state legislators with an extraordinarily high response rate in a hard-to-access population.

  • A new theory on why policymakers use research that has the potential to inform the study and practice of evidence-based policymaking.

  • A new chapter that features pioneering researchers who have been effective in engaging diverse policymakers for different purposes using disparate methods.

  • A new chapter that lays out a rationale for transforming the education of the next generation of researchers.

This update with cutting-edge research on evidence-based policy is a benefit to readers who find it hard to keep abreast of a field that spans the disciplines of business, economics, education, family sciences, health services, political science, psychology, public administration, sociology, and so forth.

For those who study evidence-based policy, the book provides the basics of producing policy relevant research by introducing researchers to policymakers and the policy process. Strategies are provided for identifying research questions that are relevant to the societal problems that confront and confound policymakers. Researchers will have at their fingertips a breath-taking overview of classic and cutting-edge studies on the multi-disciplinary field of evidence-based policy.

For instructors, the book is written in a language and style that students find engaging. A topic that many students find mundane becomes germane when they read stories of what policymakers are like, and when they learn of researcher’s tribulations and triumphs as they work to build evidence-based policy. To point students to the most important ideas, the key concepts are highlighted in text boxes.

For those who desire to engage policymakers, a new chapter summarizes the breakthroughs of several researchers who have been successful at driving policy change. The book provides 12 innovative best practices drawn from the science and practice of engaging policymakers, including insights from some of the best and brightest researchers and science communicators. The book also takes on the daunting task of evaluating the effectiveness of efforts to engage policymakers around research. A theory of change identifies seven key elements that are fundamental to increasing policymaker’s use of research along with evaluation protocols and preliminary evidence on each element.

Table of Contents

Part 1. The Problem, the Players, and the Policy Process 1. Why There is a Disconnect Between Research and Policy, and What We Can Do 2. The History of Evidence-Based Policymaking: A Long-Held Dream 3. Understanding Policymakers: Insights from Science 4. Understanding the Policy Process: Insights from Insiders Part 2. Envisioning a New Era of Theory, Research, and Evaluation 5. How Policymakers Say They Use Research: A Fresh Theoretical Perspective 6. Configuring the Research and Policy Communities: Creating an Archipelago 7. Why Research is Underutilized in Policymaking: Community Dissonance Theory 8. Evaluating Efforts to Communicate Research to Policymakers: A Theory of Change in Action Part 3. Envisioning a New Era of Practice 9. When Researchers Successfully Engaged Policymakers: Breakthroughs Do Happen! 10. Engaging Policymakers: Best Practices from Those Who Study it and Do It 11. Approaching Policymakers: The Critical Choice of Advocacy or Education 12. Creating Cultural Competence Now and in the Next Generation

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Karen Bogenschneider is a Rothermel-Bascom Professor Emeritus of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her expertise is the study, teaching, and practice of evidence-based family policy. She founded and directed the Wisconsin Family Impact Seminars for 25 years and provided leadership for the Family Impact Institute for 15 years.

Thomas J. Corbett is a Senior Scientist Emeritus and retired Associate Director of the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He taught social policy, as well as consulted at all levels of government throughout his academic career.