The Use of Evidence in Policy


This page brings together a range of resources to inform the use of evidence in policy.

Featured Resource

 Iterative Best Evidence Synthesis Programme Evidence Based Policy Project Report [PDF1.1MB] [DOC]
The Iterative BES Evidence-based Policy Project was developed as a change management pilot project. It sought to examine factors influencing the relationship between research and policy practices. The findings are presented here by Penny Moore (2006).


 International approaches to promoting evidence-based policy [PDF 598KB]
Dr Ashley Lenihan, Fellow of the London School of Economics, makes recommendations about effectively promoting evidence-based policy. See her perspective on the BES Programme on page 10 of Lessons from Abroad.
 The use of evidence to improve education and serve the public good [PDF 1MB]
This paper was prepared by Adrienne Alton-Lee for the New Zealand Ministry of Education and the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association.           

Advancing the use of evidence to improve educational policy and practice
David Gough, Professor of Evidence-Informed Policy and Practice, University of London, presents in Wellington, New Zealand on the use of evidence for decision making, research production and synthesis, interpretation and application of research, and systems and procedures.

Watch David Gough's presentation with accompanying slides.

 (Using) evidence for educational improvement (2011) [PDF 1.1MB]
This article was published in the Cambridge Journal of Education
 Develop smart policy and curriculum documents to support educational improvement
This case provides educational leaders and policy makers with six criteria for the development of policy and curriculum documents. The criteria are elaborated on and supported with examples.

Links to more

Sir Peter Gluckman: Office of the Prime Minister's Science Advisory Committee 

Reports from the Office of the Auditor-General New Zealand


Centre for the Use of Research & Evidence in Education (CUREE)
CUREE is an internationally acknowledged centre of expertise in evidence-based practice in all sectors of education.

Evidence Informed Policy and Practice in Education in Europe (EIPPEE)
The EIPPEE Network is made up of organisations and individuals working together in groups on specific aspects of the use of evidence, including partnership work on the BES programme. They work in dozens of countries and communicate mainly electronically and occasionally by meeting.

Education Endowment Foundation
Teaching & Learning Toolkit - What is the Toolkit?
The Sutton Trust-EEF Teaching Learning Toolkit is an independent UK resource which provides guidance for teachers and schools on how to use their resources to improve the attainment of disadvantaged pupils.The Toolkit is an accessible summary of educational research. It currently covers 21 topics, each summarised in terms of their potential impact on attainment, the strength of the evidence supporting them, their cost, and their applicability.

Archived Articles


Alton-Lee, A. (2011). (Using) evidence for educational improvement. Cambridge Journal of Education, 41:3, 303-329.

Download (Using) evidence for educational improvement [PDF 1.1mb]


Alton-Lee, A. (2010). Journal of Educational Leadership, Policy and Practice, Vol 25, No.1 67-68. The Journal of Educational Leadership, Policy and Practice published a special issue focused on the School Leadership and Student Outcomes Best Evidence Synthesis (BES). In this article the Chief Education Advisor BES responds to a range of issues raised by contributors.

Download Brief Comment in Response [PDF 647kb]


Alton-Lee, A. (2008). Chapter 13: Making a bigger difference for diverse learners : The Iterative Best Evidence synthesis Programme in New Zealand. in G. Wan, (Ed.). The Education of Diverse Populations: A Global Perspective. The Netherlands: Springer Science and Business Media.

Download The Education of Diverse Student Populations [PDF 1.9mb]

Timperley, H., & Alton-Lee, A. (2008). Reframing teacher professional learning: An alternative policy approach to strengthening valued outcomes for diverse learners. Review of Research in Education 32, 328 – 369.
This paper dicusses significant findings from the Teacher Professional Learning and Development best evidence synthesis and their application to increasing the effectiveness of teacher professional learning that will enable improved outcomes for diverse learners.

Download Review of Research in Education [PDF 522kb]


Alton-Lee, A. (2007). The Iterative Best Evidence Synthesis Programme: Collaborative knowledge building and use across research, policy and practice in education. In CERI Evidence in Education: Linking research and policy. Paris: OECD. This paper provides an in-depth discussion of the application of best evidence synthesis findings to research, policy and practice in education.

Download Evidence in Education - Linking Research and Policy [PDF 1.5mb]

31st Conference of the Pacific Circle Consortium: 'Education in a Pacific Circle Context: Educational Outcomes for the Twenty-first Century', 25-29 June 2007, Hawaii. The Pacific Circle Consortium.


4th Annual Policy Conference: Policy Evolution, 29 March, 2006. 31st Conference of the Pacific Circle Consortium: 'Education in a Pacific Circle Context: Educational Outcomes for the Twenty-first Century', 25-29 June 2007, Hawaii. The Pacific Circle Consortium..

BES Related pages


Contact BES

If you have any questions about BES, please contact us at:

Iterative Best Evidence Synthesis Programme
Ministry of Education

P O Box 1666
Thorndon, Wellington 6140
New Zealand

Phone: +64 4 463-1542


All teachers and people involved in education in New Zealand can order copies of the four most recent BESs directly from: or visit Down the Back of the Chair