Guidelines and good practices for evidence-informed policy-making in a government department

Research reports and studies
November 2016
Alf Wills, Mapula Tshangela, Louise Shaxson, Ajoy Datta and Bongani Matomela

Approaches to evidence-informed policy-making must be flexible and pay equal attention to the quality of the processes through which evidence is sourced and used, as well as the quality of the evidence itself. However, there are often common concerns, within and across government departments – for example, using the full range of high-quality evidence that is available, using budgets efficiently, building relationships and ensuring wide participation, and anticipating future evidence needs.

This report derives from work done with the South African Department of Environmental Affairs between 2014 and 2016. Informed by exisiting good practices identified in DEA, it proposes five guidelines and sets of good practice that could underpin a systematic and phased approach to improving evidence-informed policy-making within a government department.

This is the third in a series of documents that have been developed as part of the VakaYiko Consortium project, supporting DEA in South Africa as it embeds and enhances an evidence-informed approach to policy-making. It has been jointly produced by a team from DEA and from ODI. Other documents in the series include: