Research across the Policy Lifecycle – Formulation, Implementation, Evaluation and Back Again
New data, improved research methods, and increased policymaker attention all mean that our policies and programs have the potential to be more evidence-based than ever before. But what happens when evidence-based programs and policies are actually implemented? Policies and programs often perform differently than expected for reasons rooted in the policies or programs themselves, in the contexts in which they are implemented, or in the process of their implementation. Policymaking can benefit from research exploring the challenges of implementation in real-world contexts and the correlates of successful implementation. Evaluations both of the extent of policy success or failure and of the sources of that success or failure can help inform our understanding of where to focus attention next, precipitating the next cycle of problem identification and policy development.
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