What to Read this Month
“The case studies offer unique insights about the challenges that decision-makers face as they grapple with uncertainty, prioritize competing information inputs, and weigh the quality and credibility of available information.”
A collection of 20 case studies at the federal, state, and local level in the United States, tracing how decision makers in government used evidence to shape tax policies, social programs, and more.

“Regularly assess context and make the most of windows of opportunity; use influential people as messengers.”
A handy 1-page planning guide to help you maximize the influence of your research.

“More recently, there has been growing support for a more ‘whole systems’ approach to improving evidence use, where systems are viewed as complex assemblages of interlocking networks […] However, a lack of associated practical tools and detailed guidance means that it has been difficult to operationalize these ideas into innovative strategies aimed at improving evidence use.”
The authors highlight 10 key ways in which the use of evidence in policy and practice has evolved or stayed the same over the past two decades. Trends include a growing recognition that simply transferring knowledge from producers to users is not enough; the continued dominance of the ‘what works’ agenda and randomized experiments and the under-valuing of practitioner knowledge; and the potential of experimenting with new ways to structure relationships between evidence producers and users. For a quick summary, click here.

“This Issue aims to identify how partnerships focused on the production of policy-engaged research seek to achieve societal impact and explores the challenges in these processes.”
A compilation of case studies explored through the perspectives of both researchers and their partners in civil society and policy, that explore how research-policy partnerships achieve impact and the challenges they face.

“Recognizing this, Ghana wants its new census data to be more accurate, comprehensive, and granular than in the past. In addition to switching to digital tablets, it’s using satellite imagery to make sure households in rural areas don’t go undiscovered and uncounted, and disaggregating the data it collects at the district level.”
New technologies, increased funding, and a pledge to count the invisible and leave no one behind: preparations for Ghana’s 2020 census signify a strong political commitment to data-driven development, which is growing throughout West Africa.

“The decline in poverty rates was so steep that also the absolute number of people living in extreme poverty also fell, even while the world population was growing.”
Check out these 3 dynamic data visualizations!