This book is for those who believe that good government should be based on hard evidence, and that research and policy ought to go hand-in-hand. Unfortunately, no such bond exists. Rather, there is a substantial gap, some say chasm, between the production of knowledge and its utilization. Despite much contrary evidence, the authors propose there is a way of doing public policy in a more reflective manner, and that a hunger for evidence and objectivity does exist.
The book is pragmatic, drawing on advice from some of the best and brightest informants from both the research and policy communities. In their own voices, researchers provide incisive analysis about how to bridge the research/policy divide, and policymakers provide insights about why they use research, what kind is most useful, where they seek it, and how they screen its quality. The book breaks through stereotypes about what policymakers are like, and provides an insiders' view of how the policy process really works. Readers will learn what knowledge, skills, approaches, and attitudes are needed to take research findings from the laboratory to lawmaking bodies, and how to evaluate one's success in doing so.
The book's balance between theory and practice will appeal to students in graduate and upper-level undergraduate courses in family studies and family policy, educational policy, law, political science, public administration, public health, social work, and sociology. This book will also be of interest to researchers who want to bring their ideas into policy debate and to those who work with policymakers to advance an evidence-based policy agenda.