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.
Sandra Nutley is Professor of Public Policy and Management and Director of the Research Unit for Research Utilisation (RURU), University of Edinburgh.
Isabel Walter is Research Fellow in the Social Dimensions of Health institute, Universities of St Andrews and Dundee.
Huw Davies is Professor of Health Policy and Management, University of St Andrews, and Director of the Social Dimensions of Health institute, Universities of St Andrews and Dundee.
Introducing the issues; What does it mean to 'use' research?; What shapes the use of research?; Descriptive models of the research impact process; Improving the use of research: What's been tried and what might work?; What can we learn from the literatures on learning, knowledge management and the diffusion of innovations?; Improving research use in practice contexts; Improving research use in policy contexts; How can we assess research use and wider research impact?; Drawing some conclusions on "Using evidence".
"This book is a major contribution to the literature: clear, thoughtful, relevant and evidence-informed. My first bit of advice for the Academy of Management here in the US is for everyone to read your book." Thomas G. Rundall, Henry J. Kaiser Professor of Organized Health Systems, U.C. Berkeley
"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." Social Sciences Newsletter
"[the book] ought to command wide endorsement" Public
"Anyone who has ever written or uttered the words 'evidence-based policy' should read this outstanding book. So should anyone else who has hopes for increasing the rationality of policy or practice through reference to systematic inquiry. The volume unpacks the meanings and assumptions embedded in 'evidence-based policy', illustrates its successes and shortfalls, looks at alternative perspectives on the junction of research and practice, and suggests documented ways to improve the engagement of research with policy and practice. This sophisticated book will challenge some current beliefs and offer better grounded and more realistic aspirations." Carol H. Weiss, Beatrice B. Whiting Professor Emerita, Harvard Graduate School of Education, US
"Hugely useful for students." Lee Gregory, University of Birmingham.
The Policy Press
14 Mar 2007