Analysis of Policy Transparency Framework✎
Last modified on 13 March 2017
- Sense about Science
- Institute for Government
- Alliance for Useful Evidence
Sense about Science, the Institute for Government and the Alliance for Useful Evidence have developed a framework to assess how transparent policy proposals are about the evidence they are based on.
Transparency is a first and necessary step in enabling the quality of evidence-based decision-making to be judged. When the evidence that has been used to justify and shape a policy proposal is transparent:
- The evidence can be evaluated and improved upon.
- The public are better able to understand and engage with the reasoning for policy interventions.
- Further government initiatives and policy evaluation can build on it.
Generally, the framework asks, ‘Can someone outside of government work out what the government is proposing to do, and why?’ Specifically, it asks, ‘Can we tell what evidence has been used? Can we tell how the government has assessed or used this evidence?’ under each of the following headings:
- Diagnosis (the issue the policy is designed to address)
- Proposal (the government’s chosen intervention)
- Implementation (how the intervention will be introduced and run)
- Testing and evaluation (plans to assess whether the policy has worked)
The framework was used to review a sample of policies announced by 13 UK government departments between May 2015 and May 2016. The report of that review - Transparency of evidence: an assessment of government policy proposals May 2015 to May 2016 - highlights good and bad practice and demonstrates how to improve evidence transparency. It includes a detailed methodology.
(*) The framework has been independently translated into Spanish.