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With the move towards evidence-based policymaking, the need for high-quality data — which can include statistical and qualitative data, but also existing research — has increased for policy makers and public sector organisations. Against this background DG SANCO asked RAND Europe to explore international good practice of using data in policymaking. Based on previous research in this field, this report develops a conceptual framework for characterising and classifying the different elements of a data strategy for public sector organisations. This framework comprises the key questions of how to identify and define data needs, how to collect data, how to analysis and how to use data.

This framework is then applied to the analysis of thirteen cases studies. These thirteen case studies illustrate how different organisations in the fields of health, consumer, food and feed safety and animal welfare policy handle their data needs in policy making. The report concludes by identifying the key choices that need to be made in developing and implementing a data strategy for policymaking.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    A conceptual framework of data strategies

  • Chapter Three

    Identifying and prioritising data needs

  • Chapter Four

    Data collection

  • Chapter Five

    Data management

  • Chapter Six

    Data analysis

  • Chapter Seven

    Data use

  • Chapter Eight

    Revising the linear model

  • Chapter Nine

    Conclusions and recommendations

  • Appendix A


Research conducted by

The research described in this report was prepared for the European Commission Directorate General for Health and Consumers (DG SANCO) by RAND Europe.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Technical report series. RAND technical reports may include research findings on a specific topic that is limited in scope or intended for a narrow audience; present discussions of the methodology employed in research; provide literature reviews, survey instruments, modeling exercises, guidelines for practitioners and research professionals, and supporting documentation; or deliver preliminary findings. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure that they meet high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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