Policy capacity and evidence-based policy in the public service

Joshua Newman, Adrian Cherney, Brian Head

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


Governments in many jurisdictions have called for an increase in ‘evidence-based’ policy-making. However, the international evidence-based policy movement has so far shown little progress in transforming the way that public policy is formulated and implemented. Much research on evidence-based policy has focused on political interference and contextual frames of reference as barriers to the uptake of research evidence. With the support of data from a survey of over 2,000 Australian public servants, we argue that individual and organizational deficits can leave the public service structurally unprepared for an engagement with diverse forms of evidence, including academic research in particular.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-174
Number of pages18
JournalPublic Management Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • evidence-based policy
  • Policy capacity
  • research utilization


Dive into the research topics of 'Policy capacity and evidence-based policy in the public service'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this