NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1132126
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Aug
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1744-2648
"Black Magic" and "Gold Dust": The Epistemic and Political Uses of Evidence Tools in Public Health Policy Making
Stewart, Ellen; Smith, Katherine E.
Evidence & Policy: A Journal of Research, Debate and Practice, v11 n3 p415-437 Aug 2015
Concerns about the limited influence of research on decision making have prompted the development of tools intended to mediate evidence for policy audiences. This article focuses on three examples, prominent in public health: impact assessments; systematic reviews; and economic decision-making tools (cost-benefit analysis and scenario modelling). Each has been promoted as a means of synthesising evidence for policy makers but little is known about policy actors' experiences of them. Employing a literature review and 69 interviews, we offer a critical analysis of their role in policy debates, arguing that their utility lies primarily in their symbolic value as markers of good decision making.
Policy Press. University of Bristol, 1-9 Old Park Hill, Bristol BS2 8BB, UK. Tel: +44-117-954-5940; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A