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Open Access Policy labs: the next frontier of policy design and evaluation?

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This article is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY-NC licence.

The article explores the potential benefits to public policy of combining traditional evaluative inquiry with insights developed dynamically in policy labs. Twenty leading labs from five continents are critically analysed through a literature review as well as policy and programme evaluation practices, assessing the extent to which the purpose, structures and processes used in policy labs address three challenges: (1) establishing the causality and value of public interventions, (2) explaining mechanisms of change, and (3) utilising research findings in public policy. The article concludes that creating synergies between evaluation inquiry and policy labs can improve the design and implementation of public policy and programmes.

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Keywords: evaluation practice; policy design; policy innovation; policy labs; public policy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Poland 2: University of Strathclyde, UK 3: University of Warsaw, Poland 4: George Washington University, USA

Publication date: January 2020

This article was made available online on September 4, 2019 as a Fast Track article with title: "Policy labs: the next frontier of policy design and evaluation?".

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