This booklet gives an overview of how Young Lives uses research to engage with national and international debates and policies on child poverty. It also gives case studies of how their research is used for this purpose.
Research evidence informs policy thinking and processes in a number of ways. It generates new knowledge, but it can also add nuance to analysis. Data can both confirm what we know (ensuring that decisions are based on solid evidence) and challenge long-held assumptions about children’s lives and their place in the family or their role in a community. Researchers have an important role in working with policymakers to make the case for evidence-informed policymaking and in building the case for gathering better data. They also have a role to play in improving the knowledge and understanding of policymakers or organisations.
The policy process is messy and often unpredictable. It is a complex system in which the same piece of evidence can have no effect, or a major one, depending on the timeliness of an idea and the politics of place. A specific piece of research can be used to influence a policy or programme, but research can also influence the way people think about an issue.
Young Lives. Capturing a Picture of Change: How does Young Lives use research to engage with policy? Young Lives, Department of International Development at the University of Oxford, Oxford, UK (2016) 16p