There are limited studies focused on examining specific types of evidence, like surveys beyond the US and territories with unicameral legislatures and unique contexts.
Aims and objectives:
To measure the extent of survey research being used as evidence in policymaking in Hong Kong.
Through document analysis, this study screened and examined Hong Kong Legislative Council documents utilised to enact 569 bills from 2000 to 2022.
About 25% of bills utilised surveys as evidence, with differences across 18 policy areas. Health services recorded the highest percentage of survey use in legislation. In the Hong Kong legislature, surveys are primarily used to understand policy issues better. Mode of data collection, sample size, response rates, and representativeness of surveys are not commonly discussed in legislative documents.
Discussion and conclusion:
The study findings reaffirm previous research on the limited utilisation of survey evidence in policymaking in Hong Kong, an Asian context with a unicameral legislation and colonial history. The importance of survey evidence was highlighted in policy areas that directly impact the public, such as healthcare. The findings also highlight the important role of politics in investigating the use of surveys as research evidence for policymaking.