Archives for March 6th, 2002

SOLVING VIRTUAL TRAFFIC JAMS

Headlines, PublicNet: 6 March, 2002

People struggling to solve transport problems and congestion might find help at hand in the form of a free online version of specially designed problem-solving software.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) and Biz/ed have released a free version of Metroplitan Area Transport Simulator (Mets), a sophisticated simulation model of London’s transport. Previously only available to transport professionals and researchers, Mets has been used to plan changes to London’s public transport.

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PUBLIC SECTOR REFORM PAMPHLETS

Headlines, PublicNet: 6 March, 2002

The Prime Minister is to lobby public sector workers direct in his attempt to achieve modernisation.More than five thousand people working in the public sector will receive a copy of a pamphlet from Number 10 which is reported to set out the argument for tax rises to pay for an improved NHS and also the key practices which need to be modernised for success.

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EVALUATION, POLICY LEARNING AND EVIDENCE-BASED POLICY MAKING

Abstracts, PublicNet: 6 March, 2002

By Ian Sanderson.The increasing emphasis on the need for evidence-based policy indicates the continuing influence of the ‘modernist’ faith in progress informed by reason. Although the rationalist assumptions of evidence-based policy making have been subject to severe challenge from constructivist and post-modernist perspectives, it is argued that the attempt to ground policy making in more reliable knowledge of ‘what works’ retains its relevance and importance. The expanded use of piloting of new policies and programmes by the current UK Government is considered to provide limited scope for evaluation to derive reliable evidence of whether policies work. There is a need for greater clarity about the role of evaluation in situations where piloting essentially constitutes ‘prototyping’. More emphasis should be placed on developing a sound evidence base for policy through long-term impact evaluations of policies and programmes. It is argued from a realist position that such evaluation should be theory-based and focused on explaining and understanding how policies achieve their effects using ‘multi-method’ approaches.

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