Understanding the ‘evidence’ for policy is complicated. This article examines the relationship between evidence and policies on early childhood interventions in two states of Australia, revealing powerful insights into what constitutes the evidence for policy and the importance of ‘killer facts’ to decision makers. The nature of evidence in the policy environment is broad and complex, going well beyond research to incorporate policy context and processes. These findings reinforce an evidence-informed approach to health policy making and the need for researchers to develop a more sophisticated understanding of the policy context.
Shelley BowenSchool of Public Health and Community Medicine, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia