University of Twente Student Theses


Characteristics of evidence in the eyes of the policy maker : what makes scientific knowledge evidence

Couwenberg, S. (2021) Characteristics of evidence in the eyes of the policy maker : what makes scientific knowledge evidence.

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Abstract:In the field of evidence-based policy the most attention goes to scientific knowledge as the main form of evidence. However, there are doubts as to the extent to which scientific knowledge is used as evidence. This thesis examines if the use of evidence in the policy making process depends on whether a scientific study can meet several characteristics policy makers consider important for scientific knowledge. An attempt is made to identify these characteristics, in order to determine what policy makers perceive as a high-quality and useful scientific study. This is guided by the first research question; What characteristics of scientific evidence foster their use by policy makers? Similarly, the standards scientists set for scientific studies are identified. These characteristics and standards are then compared to see if any major conflicts exist. As such this thesis hopes to be able to identify problematic points which prevent policy makers from using scientific evidence by examining knowledge itself. This identification is done at the hand of the second research question; To what extent are these characteristics compatible with accepted academic norms about scientific evidence? It is hoped this will provide a better explanation as to why evidence-based policy making remains so complicated.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:70 social sciences in general, 88 social and public administration
Programme:Public Administration MSc (60020)
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