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Evidence-Based PolicyA Practical Guide to Doing It Better$
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Nancy Cartwright and Jeremy Hardie

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199841608

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199841608.001.0001

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Evidence-Ranking Schemes, Advice Guides, and Choosing Effective Policies

Evidence-Ranking Schemes, Advice Guides, and Choosing Effective Policies

(p.135) Chapter IV.C Evidence-Ranking Schemes, Advice Guides, and Choosing Effective Policies
Evidence-Based Policy

Nancy Cartwright

Jeremy Hardie

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents a schema intended to pick out features of the literature that are found widely. The schema distinguishes evidence-ranking schemes, advice guides, and warehouses. It is not intended to help classify the literature but to disentangle the various functions that evidence-based policy literature appears to fulfill. The chapter presents a non-comprehensive list of sites that aim to help with judging policy effectiveness in various areas or that vet and warehouse policies. It argues that evidence-based policy as it is operated, or meant to operate, is dominated by schemes and guides and warehouses of the kind exemplified in the list. The central tendency of such literature is to rank randomized controlled trials (RCTs), or meta-analyses, or systematic reviews of RCTs, as gold standard evidence for effectiveness; and urge that, if at all possible, policy makers choose only policies backed by such evidence, and look for them in approved warehouses.

Keywords:   evidence-ranking schemes, advice guides, warehouses, evidence-based policy, randomized controlled trials

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