By Katherine Smith
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Additional info for Beyond Evidence Based Policy in Public Health: The Interplay of Ideas
Reflecting Blunkett’s speech to the ESRC (see above), and widely held notions of ‘hierarchies of evidence’ (Hadorn et al. 1996), there has been significantly more guidance for assessing the validity and reliability of quantitative research for policy audiences than there has been for qualitative research (DixonWoods, Fitzpatrick and Roberts 2001; Oakley 2002). g. Dixon-Woods et al. 2004; Popay, Rogers and Williams 1998), key techniques for summarising research evidence promoted by proponents of EBP, such as systematic reviewing and meta-analysis, frequently exclude data which are not quantitative and experimental (see Dixon-Woods et al.
Groups for which the research coalesces with interests and values or confirms existing beliefs) and offer them information to enable its strategic use against opponents (Contandriopoulos et al. 2010; Innvær et al. 2002; Mitton et al. 2007). • Make use of ‘opinion leaders’ or ‘champions’ for particular research ideas (Mitton et al. 2007; Nutley, Walter and Davies 2007; Walter, Nutley and Davis 2005). Less popular recommendations (supported by only one or two reviews) • Ensure research is perceived to be legitimate/credible by promoting it via credible sources (Contandriopoulos et al.
All of these actors are perceived to have agency and all are also treated as the effects of heterogeneous networks. According to Law (1992: p. 381), ‘the social is nothing other than patterned networks of heterogeneous materials’. So, while an individual or a government may each commonly be referred to as singular, discrete bodies, according to actor-network theorists, they are actually the effect of a diverse number of networks involving a range of actors. Networks, however, usually only become visible when they fail or when the interactions and actors involved are carefully uncovered through detailed anthropological work (for a more in depth explanation, see Latour (2005) and Law (1992)).
Beyond Evidence Based Policy in Public Health: The Interplay of Ideas by Katherine Smith
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