The Joint Research Centre (JRC) and the Hertie School of Berlin launched a new Training Course on Evidence-Informed Policymaking. Policymakers from around Europe, including representatives of the Committee of Regions, gathered in Berlin last month for a two-day training in evidence-informed policymaking and our team was among the participants.
City governments are facing an increasing complexity and increasing politicisation of the policy-making process. In addition, there is an ongoing process of externalization: i.e. increasing relevance of non-governmental actors who provide policy advice. The vast variety of evidence is difficult to analyze, especially when it comes to evidence on evaluating government programs and policies. It is crucial to distinguish between misleading and useful evidence.
Going beyond “correlation is not causation”, the course covered how to distinguish between observational evidence, which could be misleading, and quasi-experimental evidence, internal vs. external validity (‘relevance’) of evidence, recognizing spillover effects and how to design policy impact evaluations.
The course explored the various tools in the policy making toolbox and building analytical capacity for policy implementation.
AI for policymaking is also a big topic.
AI has a slower pace of adoption in government due to privacy and ethics concerns. As algorithms play a growing role in criminal justice and education for example, there is a growing recognition of embedded bias in AI. Security concerns are also growing. Another big problem is the lack of investment and skilled talent. Different approaches to AI solutions like sandbox prototyping and co-developing with universities and private partners might be the way to go to ensure larger adoption of AI projects in the public sector.
We examined several use cases from the Essex Centre for Data Analytics (ECDA) in the UK.
About Joint Research Centre (JRC)
The Joint Research Centre is the European Commission’s science and knowledge service. It employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy. JRC collaborates with over a thousand organisations worldwide. Its work and research has a direct impact on the lives of citizens by contributing to a healthy and safe environment, secure energy supplies, sustainable mobility and consumer health and safety.
About Hertie School in Berlin
The Hertie School in Berlin is a private independent graduate school with more than 95 countries represented among alumni and currently enrolled students. It has a right to confer doctoral degrees. The Hertie School encourages research collaboration with faculty, students can pursue study abroad opportunities at one of the nearly 30 academic partners of Hertie School worldwide. The research focus of the Hertie School, which has existed since its founding, lies in the analysis of the conditions, structures and dynamics of governance.