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Evidence, policy and practice

Evidence, policy and practice: Critical perspectives in health and social care

Edited by Jon Glasby
Copyright Date: 2011
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  • Book Info
    Evidence, policy and practice
    Book Description:

    This edited book provides a hard-hitting and deliberately provocative overview of the relationship between evidence, policy and practice, how policy is implemented and how research can and should influence the policy process. It critiques the notion of 'evidence-based practice', suggesting instead a more inclusive idea of 'knowledge-base practice', based in part on the lived experience of service users. It will be of interest to everyone in health and social care policy, practice and research.

    eISBN: 978-1-84742-943-8
    Subjects: Health Sciences, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. iii-iii)
  3. List of figures, tables and boxes
    (pp. iv-iv)
  4. Notes on contributors
    (pp. v-vi)
  5. ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-10)
    Jon Glasby

    Talk to any health and social care researcher or to any policy maker, and it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that there are growing tensions in the relationship between policy and evidence. For policy makers, the stereotype of the ‘ivory tower’ academic is alive and well, writing his articles (and the stereotype probably is a ‘he’) for obscure academic journals that only three or four people across the world will ever read. Such individuals seem to ‘earn’ their research funding under a regime that frowns on accessibility and relevance (almost as if the fewer people who read a piece of...

  6. TWO The policy process
    (pp. 11-30)
    Martin Powell

    The evidence base confirming any benefit (or indeed, dysfunctions) of an evidence-based approach to public policy and service delivery is actually rather thin. (Nutley et al, 2007, p 2)

    Basing public policy on ‘evidence’ has international dimensions (Marston and Watts, 2003). It also has a long history (Clarence, 2002). For example, the Royal Commission on the Poor Laws led to the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 (Bulmer, 1982). However, this has increased in importance in recent years with the New Labour (1997–2010) and current Conservative–Liberal Democrat coalition (2010–) governments arguing that evidence-based policy making (EBPM) should...

  7. THREE From policy transfer to policy translation: the role of evidence in policy borrowing
    (pp. 31-48)
    Catherine Needham

    Policy makers sometimes act as innovators, coming up with brand new ideas to solve thorny policy problems, but frequently they act as borrowers, recycling ideas from other sectors and countries. The Conservatives’ Citizen’s Charter programme of the 1990s was exported around the world, as policy makers latched on to the charter concept (Butler, 1994). New Labour imported its welfare to work policies from Clinton’s New Democrats when it came into power in 1997 (Dolowitz, 1998; Dolowitz et al, 1999; King and Wickham-Jones, 1999). Organisations such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Bank are widely seen...

  8. FOUR Policy making through a rhetorical lens
    (pp. 49-70)
    Jill Russell and Trisha Greenhalgh

    Over the past 25 years a significant sociological and political science literature has accumulated on the complex relationship between evidence and policy, raising critical questions about many of the assumptions of the evidence-based policy movement, and positioning policy making more as a social practice and less a technical, scientific process (Majone, 1989; Stone, 1997; Bacchi, 2000; Klein, 2000; Fischer, 2003). Deborah Stone, for example, argues that the essence of policy making in political communities is the struggle over ideas. She depicts policy making as an activity in which people deliberate and argue about different ways of seeing the world and...

  9. FIVE Implementing policy
    (pp. 71-84)
    Helen Dickinson

    Despite the best intentions of policy makers and practitioners alike, plans do not always turn out as expected. The ‘implementation gap’ is a phrase that is often used to refer to the difference between what a particular policy promises and what is delivered in practice. This gap (or deficit as it is sometimes called) is a rather contentious affair and vast tracts have been written about it over the past 30 years in terms of what this looks like in practice; what can be done to overcome it; who is responsible; and, even in some cases, whether it actually exists...

  10. SIX From evidence-based to knowledge-based policy and practice
    (pp. 85-98)
    Jon Glasby

    In 2003, the former National Institute for Mental Health in England (NIMHE) published a broad review of ‘what works’ in adult mental health (Glasby et al, 2003).Cases for change in mental healthcomprised 10 reports summarising the evidence with regard to different sectors of the mental health system (primary care, community services, hospitals and so on) and a range of cross-cutting themes (partnership working, user involvement, discrimination and so forth). Adorned with a series of paintings by service user artists, the report was launched at a large event in Liverpool with actor Dean Sullivan (whose character Jimmy Corkhill in...

  11. SEVEN Receptive contexts and the role of knowledge management in evidence-based practice
    (pp. 99-118)
    Iestyn Williams

    Presumably, one of the main reasons we have research, evidence and information is so that, at some point down the line, improvements can be made to the delivery of public services, however these improvements are defined. If this is the case, clearly it is important to analyse how the products and outputs of research institutions affect actual behaviour in front-line organisations. This chapter, and indeed much of this volume, is taken up with analysing this relationship. The themes discussed here – for example, the role of knowledge dissemination and the impact of organisational forms on behaviour – are not especially...

  12. EIGHT Conclusion
    (pp. 119-122)
    Jon Glasby

    In line with the ‘critical perspectives’ suggested in its title, this book is sub-titled ‘Why evidence doesn’t influence policy, why it should and how it might’. Although this is slightly tongue in cheek, the various contributions to this edited collection have sought to explore the ways in which research has been suggested to influence policy, the extent to which it really does, how policy gets implemented in practice, the language that policy makers use and why this matters, what constitutes ‘evidence’ in the first place and the contexts into which evidence and policy are introduced. Although the tone has often...

  13. Index
    (pp. 123-130)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 131-131)