International Insights: social science evidence and the policy process

Thursday 17th of October 2013
Nesta, 1 Plough Place, London, EC4A 1DE 1:00pm - 5:30pm

This seminar was part of a conference series presented by the Alliance for Useful Evidence and the Academy of Social Sciences entitled 'Social Science Evidence and the Policy Process: International Insights'.


This seminar explored the core themes of knowledge intermediaries, hierarchies of impact, expectations and time horizons. The presenters examined the contributions of social science evidence, the ways in which they are shaped by policy contexts, and the alternative sources of advice and information that influence policy outcomes. The aim was that these insights from outside the UK will raise issues for subsequent seminars and identify the conditions under which social science evidence can be applied in different contexts.


Seminar 1: Competing for policy influence: The ups and downs of social science evidence


13:00-13:30 Registration and refreshments


13:30-13:45 Welcome and Introduction


13.45–15.15 Intermediaries, impact, expectations

Issue One: Intermediaries/brokers

Who are the key intermediaries/brokers? How do they function? Who are their audiences? What is their impact? What are the implications of their growth for the research profession?


Issue Two: Hierarchies and combinations 

What kinds of evidence carry weight? Are different kinds of evidence ranked or weighted differently? How can evidence based on different types of data be used to maximum effect?


Issue Three: Evaluation and time horizons

How is evidence used to assess the effects of policies or programmes? How do the time horizons and expectations of evidence-producers and evidence-users differ? How can any differences be reconciled?


15.15–15.45 Break for tea/coffee


15.45–16.45 Table Discussions


16.45–17.30 Plenary discussion


17.30 Close


    Speakers include

  • Debby LanserProgramme Leader Education, Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis
  • William SolesburyCentre for Evidence and Policy, King's College London
  • John Marksformerly European Science Foundation and International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, Netherlands
  • Ashley LenihanVisiting Fellow, the London School of Economics
  • Chris CaswillUniversity of Durham
  • Roland BalProfessor of Health Care Governance, Erasmus University, Rotterdam
  • Ron IphofenEuropean Commission consultant, ethical standards
  • Dave Filipović-CarterEducation-Training Ltd.