All evidence is equal but some evidence is more equal than others

This blog discusses the interaction between evidence and politics using the case study of tobacco policy vs alcohol policy in the UK. Paul Cairney, Professor of Politics and Public Policy at the University of Stirling, argues that even the most compelling evidence can be overlooked. Evidence based policymaking (EBPM), he argues, is about power, which often hinges on the political will of decision makers to accept it and their capacity and motivation to do something about it.

Jessica Sinclair Taylor, Communications Officer with RAPID at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), recommended the piece:

The point which jumped out for me was that major, comprehensive policy change takes many years, decades in fact. Evidence, even incontrovertible evidence such as the negative health effects of tobacco, can be ignored for a long time.

The blog illustrates need to communicate research so that it helps to build critical mass around particular issues, such as the link between gender violence and HIV for example.

Read more at the LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog. 

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