This paper is aimed at those in government ministries who want to take a more strategic approach to managing their evidence base. It examines three case studies, written for the Knowledge Sector Initiative (KSI) programme in Indonesia, which show that it is possible to take a strategic and systematic approach to developing a policy evidence base, but that it may take time and involve deep-seated changes.
While all three case studies were written about UK Government departments, they contain valuable lessons for people working in other countries to improve the use of evidence within government. This paper draws out 11 key lessons for investing in evidence. These lessons are relevant for countries like Indonesia, which have achieved middle-income status, want to develop a knowledge economy, need to implement complex economic and social policies, and want to avoid the middle-income trap and falling back to low-income status.