December 2 2013
This commentary appeared on The Alliance for Useful Evidence on December 2, 2013.
Earlier this year, the European Commission renewed its commitment to promoting child well-being and made a recommendation entitled “Investing in children — breaking the cycle of disadvantage” (PDF) as part of the Social Investment Package to promote that goal. One of the guidelines was to strengthen the use of evidence-based policy. This particular recommendation is noteworthy, because it represents one of the first times that the European Commission has specifically advocated the use of evidence in policy making.
The field of education initiated several research synthesis projects early in the century, including the Best Evidence Encyclopedia and the What Works Clearinghouse in the US. More recently, the European Commission established the online European Platform for Investing in Children (EPIC), which screens and summarises evidence-based information related to children and their families across the EU and also provides a pan-European mechanism for individuals to share lessons learned in child policy and practice.