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.

Design Policy Recommendations

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Now that you are armed with evidence from your systematic review of existing evidence (Chapter 3) and from any new evidence you generated (Chapter 4), you are in a position to design recommendations for your policy problem. The word design here indicates that making recommendations to policy makers is a highly creative process. Recommendations do not just fall out of your analysis mechanically; they have to be created—designed—from the analyses you have done with a dash of insight and deep connection to the policy problem. The Design Policy Recommendations Phase involves balancing the need to solve the policy problem with practical considerations such as timing, resource requirements, and political support. A key part of the Design Policy Recommendations Phase of the ...

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