Evidence-based policy-making: from data to decision-making

June 7, 2018 – June 9, 2018 all-day Europe/Rome Timezone
Cappella, Villa Schifanoia
Via Giovanni Boccaccio
121, 50133 Firenze FI
Matthias Kindel

Scientific Coordinator: Gaby Umbach | Director Globalstat, Global Governance Programme, European University Institute



In times of increasing populism and contestation of politics, reliable information plays a vital role for well-informed policy-making based on evidence rather than emotions and fake news. The popular legitimacy of any political system around the world today, perhaps more than ever, thus depends on its effective capacity to successfully deliver good and targeted outcomes as a policy shaper and lawmaker based on facts. These outcomes have to be based on reliable data in order to make political decisions understandable, assessable, sustainable and future-proof. Within the preparatory and scrutinising processes of policy-making, policy proposals, legislative acts and implementation arrangements are increasingly being assessed and evaluated on the basis of factual evidence and statistical data. Such evidence-based monitoring is increasingly recognised as a complex steering mode in itself resulting from changing governance patterns, supranationalisation and globalisation. In this view, evidence-based policy-making reflects the need to re-structure the interaction between the political actors of different institutional origin and political levels, and represents an influential policy instrument at the border of the politics and policy dimensions of multilevel political systems.

While the demand for independent sources of evidence and expertise in policy-making has therefore grown enormously in the past, the landscape of data sources and the ways in which best to inject evidence into policy-making have increased exuberantly and can easily become confusing for any nondata scientist. This Executive Training Seminar aimed to contribute to a better understanding of different modes and instruments of evidence-based policy-making. It examined recent developments in evidence-based policy-making, data science and policy evaluation, including various tools of impact and implementation assessment, scientific evaluation, strategic foresight, the policyoriented use of large data resources and data visualisation. The main purpose of this Executive Training Seminar was to provide fresh ideas on how to develop a convincing toolbox for providing evidence for policy-makers, including critical assessments of the limits of empirical and data evidence in defining new policies. Through presentations, case studies, and ‘hands on’ work, participants will gain a greater appreciation and understanding of main issues related to evidence-based policy-making.





Erik Akse | Impact Assessment Institute, Belgium
Jonathan Breckon | Alliance for Useful Evidence, United Kingdom
Tracey Brown | Sense about Science, United Kingdom
Paul Cairney | University of Stirling, United Kingdom
Christian Dietrich | European European Union Institute for Security Studies, France
David Mair | European Commission, Belgium
Matthias Rumpf | OECD, France
Gaby Umbach | European University Institute, Italy


Photos and interviews from the seminar can be found on the event page.