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Evidence-based planning: Rhetoric and reality

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Simin Davoudi



This paper aims to conceptualize the upsurge of governmental interest in evidence-based policy in Britain by drawing on two models of policy-evidence interface; the instrumental and the enlightenment model. It argues that much of the drive behind the enthusiasm for evidence is rooted in the linear and utilitarian view of research which is broadly based on three interrelated misconceptions about the nature of evidence, the role of experts, and the influence that these can have on policy. By drawing on examples from the UK planning systems, the paper explores the mismatch between the use of evidence in the "ideal" and the "real" worlds of planning and policy process. It is argued that the assumption made under the positivist view of planning in the 1960s and 1970s are similar to those made under the instrumental view of the policy-research interface.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Davoudi S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: DISP

Year: 2006

Volume: 165

Issue: 2

Pages: 14-24

Print publication date: 01/01/2006

ISSN (print): 0251-3625

ISSN (electronic):

Publisher: Eidgenoessische Technische Hochschule, Institut fuer Orts- Regional- und Landesplanung