Here’s What Canada Can Learn About Evidence-Based Decision-Making

Automation and citizen engagement for better decision-making

Why It Matters

Using evidence to inform policy decisions results in better outcomes on a range of issues, from health to the environment. While this might sound like an obvious and simple concept, in reality, evidence-based decision-making is complex, with a growing field of researchers working towards best practices. What can Canada learn from global leaders in evidence-based practice at the 2019 ‘What Works Global Summit’?

It’s easy to understand how evidence leads to better policy outcomes. When a new drug is approved, we expect it’s because it has been rigorously tested. In the same vein, when governments implement new policies, whether it’s the new food guide or changes to the Canada child benefit program, these changes should also be informed by the best available evidence. But in practice, this process is more complicated than we think.

I recently attended the 2019 ‘What Works Global Summit’ in Mexico City. The conference brought together leaders in evidence-based decision-making to explore how evidence can be used to design, implement and review policies and programs for better outcomes on a range of issues including the environment, health, and global development. 

During the mostly international program, it became clear that Canada

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