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What counts as evidence for policy? An analysis of policy actors’ perceptions


vidence plays a growing role in public administration worldwide. We analyze the perceptions of policy actors, using Q methodology and a structured questionnaire, which reveals four types of profiles. Most policy actors did not fit neatly into an Evidence-Based Policy-Making (EBPM) group. Instead, they either had a pragmatic view where context and policy issues influence what counts as evidence, an inclu- sive position which emphasized the importance of considering a range of different types of evidence, or a political perspective where power relations and politics influence what counts as evidence. Our research also illustrates how different actors in the same community can have different perceptions of evidence, and how this can change over time due to experience and career trajectory.