miss_s_b: (Fanigrling: Rumpole)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
There appears to be something of a backlash against this concept going on at the moment, and everyone I see lashing back against it seems to be lashing at so many straw men they're in a blizzard of dried grasses.

Evidence-based policy does not mean you can't do ANYTHING without randomised control trials on every single facet of every policy. It DOES mean that we should pay attention to what we are doing currently and note what it's effects are and see if those effects push towards or move away from our aims. I don't see what the problem is with paying attention to whether what you are doing or proposing achieves it's aims?

The word "evidence" does not preclude consideration of anything other than randomised control trials. Empirical evidence from one person is still evidence. Hearsay evidence is still evidence, albeit not very persuasive. A randomised control trial might be more persuasive, but if you haven't got one of those there are still other forms of evidence you can consider. Evidence is not an on/off switch, but a complex sliding scale of persuasiveness.

The rejection of evidence-based policy strikes me, with my legal training, as completely wrong-headed. Because if you reject evidence-based policy, what you are doing is asking for policy that has no evidence for it. Policy that has no evidence for it at best is policy that nobody knows whether it will work, and far more likely is policy that there is evidence that it doesn't work, simply on the basis that most policies have been tried by now, so we have some evidence on whether or not they work.

Why in the name of Paddy's pants would anyone find that preferable to policy which we have some evidence that it works?

Date: Thursday, November 15th, 2012 11:05 pm (UTC)
andrewducker: (Default)
From: [personal profile] andrewducker
I haven't bumped into the backlash myself. Seems pretty silly though.

One thing that annoys me is that we don't seem to look at other countries very much. We might say "We don't do as well as country X", but nobody then tries to import their school systems.

Date: Friday, November 16th, 2012 02:08 am (UTC)
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)
From: [personal profile] matgb
*cough*Free Schools*cough*Stupid upping qualification requirement for teaching*cough*

Oh, you could also do Education Act 1944 if you wanted ;-)

Date: Friday, November 16th, 2012 07:59 am (UTC)
londonkds: (Default)
From: [personal profile] londonkds
Attacks from left or right or both? Cos some people on the left don't like the idea because of run-ins with hyper-rationalist bigots who demand ever expanding proof that injustice exists. (One person groping you is an anecdote! Prove that it's a real problem, and anecdotes aren't evidence! OK, so women get paid less, PROVE that it's down to malice in every single case, because otherwise you're social engineering the world to be unfair to men!)

Date: Friday, November 16th, 2012 08:40 am (UTC)
purplecthulhu: (Default)
From: [personal profile] purplecthulhu
I've not seen that backlash, and you can guess the kind of treatment it would get in my manor, but it's not surprising given the way evidence based policy becomes policy based evidence as soon as anyone close to government touches it.

But what is the alternative to evidence based policy? Ignorance based policy?*

* Ah - the Republican party

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