Presidential Address: Effective Evidence-Based Policy Making: Some Critical Perspectives
November 10, 2012 11:39 AM
Dr. Sandra O. Archibald, outgoing APPAM President and Dean of University of Washington Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs, delivered her presidential address on Friday evening to a packed house. She began by stressing how the public sector is changing quickly and that it is imperative that we, as public policy professionals, can adjust and adapt to this rapidly changing environment. Keeping this notion in mind, Dr. Archibald highlighted evidence-based policy making and different aspects that need to be reevaluated. She urged policy makers to think about using strategies in policy research that would help the decision makers. "Scientific technology has changed research and impacted decision makers in every policy field, including climate change, wealth disparities, and human trafficking," said Dr. Archibald. "We need to be prepared to address complexities in technology that will change more drastically." An important step forward would be the integration of policy analysis, resource management, and program evaluation. She pointed out that performance management is going to become important for quality of improvement and making decisions in this time of scarcity.
Researchers and academics must find a way to become fully engaged. Institutions are very important in this regard and APPAM is one of the most interdisciplinary organizations. The complexities of the problems require us to have this broad perspective and an array of policy topics. This institution is made by policy makers and practitioners, and she stated that “70% of attendees at this year’s APPAM Conference are also conference participants.” In today’s economy and environment, well-developed networks and knowledge are important. Dr. Archibald urged everyone to take advantage of this knowledge. She also emphasized that public policy school curriculum is necessary for bridging policy and practice and is one of the best assets available. Dr. Archibald concluded by stating that “we need to build on the current strengths of the organization and the challenge for us is to keep our character, keep our quality, keep our perspective and respond to the demands that are out there.”
Contributed by Shreya Barot, Rutgers University
A complete interview with Dr. Archibald will post in a few weeks, along with the complete video of her address.