Public Organization Review

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 191–194 | Cite as

George Argyrous (Ed.), Evidence for Policy and Decision-Making: A Practical Guide, 2009

University of New South Wales Press, Ltd., 309pp., ISBN 978 086840 903 0 (pbk.).
  • Donna Lind Infeld

Evidence-based policy is an umbrella term applied to a range of tools that can be used to bring social science research findings into the deliberative process of making public policy. George Argyrous’ volume argues for a broad definition of evidence-based policy, one that examines the nature and causes of policy problems as well as possible policy solutions. The process is designed to inform policy but it is not expected to drive specific decisions. The range of methods used and the resulting findings can have either indirect or direct impact on policy decisions, ranging from shaping values that set the stage for policy options or comparing specific policy proposals.

According to the Urban Institute, a well-respected American policy think tank, in the U.S. the term evidence-based policy comes across as either esoteric or truistic (Urban Institute 2003). In the U.S. the process has most frequently been used in the medical care arena and has only recently been applied to other public...


  1. Nilsson, M., Jordan, A., Turnpenny, J., Hertin, J., Nykvist, B., & Russel, D. (2008). The use and non-use of policy appraisal tools in public policy making: an analysis of three European countries and the European Union. Policy Sciences, 41, 335–355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Urban Institute. (2003). The case for evidence-based policy: beyond ideology, politics, and guesswork., May 2003.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public AdministrationThe George Washington UniversityNW, Washington, DCUSA

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