Methods for Policy Research, Second Edition, by Ann Majchrzak and M. Lynne Markus, is a book about responsible and evidence-based decision making written for those interested in improving the decisions that affect people's lives. It describes how to define policy research questions so that evidence can be applied to them, how to find and synthesize existing evidence, how to generate new evidence if needed, how to make acceptable recommendations that can solve policy problems without negative side effects, and how to describe evidence and recommendations in a manner that changes minds. The suggestions made throughout the book are based on the fundamental belief that evidence-based decision making is superior to decisions based purely on opinion, intuition, and emotion.

Obtain New Evidence

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This chapter describes how you can obtain new evidence if your systematic review (discussed in Chapter 3) leaves you with unanswered questions about either the problem or its effective solutions. In the Obtain New Evidence Phase, you design a plan for collecting and analyzing data to fill in missing pieces of your knowledge. You then manage data collection, whether or not you actually collect the data yourself. You start this phase with a research question that is typically much narrower and more targeted than the one you began with in the Launch Phase. After you define the key concepts in the question, you have a major choice to make: What kind of data will you use to answer the question? ...

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