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Evidence-based policy-making: What is it? How do we get it?

Chairman's speech

Chairman Gary Banks gave a speech at the Australian and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG)/Australian National University (ANU) Lecture Series on 4 February 2009.

Early versions of the paper were presented to an Australian Public Service Commission 'Leader-to-Leader' seminar in October 2008, and as a keynote address to the Annual Conference of the Economics Society in August 2008.

  • Contents


Advancing further reforms will be challenging

Why we need an evidence-based approach
Most policies are experiments
Conditioning the political environment

The essential ingredients
Methodology matters
Good data is a pre-requisite
Real evidence is open to scrutiny
Evidence-building takes time
Good evidence requires good people
Independence can be crucial
A 'receptive' policy-making environment is fundamental

Some implications for the public service
Making better use of existing processes
Effective COAG arrangements
Building greater institutional capacity
Better use of external contracting
Resourcing evaluations properly
Bottom line