Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 202001391
The Art of Evidence-Based Policy Making
Course infoSchedule
Course module202001391
Credits (ECTS)5
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Contact persondr. H.F. de Boer
Contactperson for the course
dr. H.F. de Boer
dr. H.F. de Boer
dr. A.C.M. de Gayardon de Fenoyl
Externe Docent
prof.dr. B.J.R. van der Meulen
Academic year2020
Starting block
Application procedureYou apply via OSIRIS Student
Registration using OSIRISYes

The aim of the course is to provide students with insight into evidence-based policy making by presenting and learning theories and concepts and providing practical experiences. Based on theory and practice, students are asked to actively apply this knowledge. Students will be able to identify the use and importance of (scientific) knowledge in different phases of a policy process. It is interesting for those students who pursue a career as a policy maker, consultant or as a policy-oriented researcher.
The students will have knowledge of the key principles and concepts in the field of evidence-based policy making, are able to critically consider these insights and concepts and are able to explain these principles and concepts well.
The students will be able to apply the most important theoretical insights, partly on the basis of various practical examples, critically and in a structured manner and to arrive at their own judgement on the (im)possibilities of using scientific knowledge in a policy process.
The students will acquire competences and skills to communicate their insights through active participation in discussions during lectures, giving and commenting on presentations and writing a paper.
The emphasis in this course is therefore on:
  • Theories and concepts of evidence based policy (for understanding and reflecting on the dynamics and complexity of evidence based)
  • Gain insight into the practices of evidence-based policy making (through case studies from different public sectors).
  • Skills acquisition (developing a set of competencies for the use and assessment of the role of knowledge in policy making).
In our knowledge-intensive society we expect that policy choices are well informed. Policy makers and implementers are called upon to make use of the best available knowledge. The use of knowledge in policy making is therefore a popular topic, both in the world of policy and in the world of science. The number of policy reports and scientific publications dealing with this topic in the last two decades is overwhelming.
The extent to which knowledge and evidence are used and by whom, factors and conditions (barriers and facilitators) have been identified for the use of knowledge in policy, and a variety of guidelines, advice and manuals have been published to increase the use of evidence by policymakers. At the same time, there is a surprising lack of evidence on how much evidence policymakers use. The widely held assumption that the use of evidence would improve the outcome of the policy process remains relatively untested by any form of empirical analysis. Despite advances in scientific knowledge, analysis tools, and data collection and processing techniques, there is still no political and intellectual consensus on some cardinal questions: what is ‘evidence', what should be evidence, how should it be produced and validated, and how should it be used to improve policy making?
This course addresses these questions. From different public domains, students will be made aware of the most important points of view. This is done by giving lectures, giving practical examples and actively practicing with the provided insights (among others in simulations). Students are expected to be able to translate their acquired insights into an individual paper.
Students are expected to actively participate during the compulsory lectures. Knowledge is tested through an exam ('theory test'), some (small) assignments, active participation in lectures and writing an individual paper.

Test Test weight Remark
Exam 30  
Assignments 30 several small assignments, presented at tutorials
Paper 40  
Participating study
Master Public Administration
Required materials
Course material
Journal articles and other materials will be made available online. The exam materials consists of a part of these articles and the lecture contents.
Recommended materials
Instructional modes

Presence dutyYes

Exam, Assignments and paper

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