Achieving long-term sustainable development requires a whole-of-government effort, driven from the centre. Furthermore, mobilising evidence for decision making is crucial for achieving broad societal goals, improving well-being and preserving trust in public institutions. The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the value both of informing public decisions with evidence, and of agile and responsive governments that are well equipped to address “wicked” policy challenges. Evidence and evaluations can contribute to every government decision, from budgets and resource allocation, the impact assessment of new laws and regulations, to the design and implementation of long-term strategies.

Evidence-informed decision making (EIDM) entails combining multiple sources of information, including statistics, data, the best available research, evidence, and evaluations, before making a decision. This requires, first, that the necessary evidence exists; second, that it is of sufficient quality; and, third, that it is available at the right time and in the right format. Yet, despite the clear benefits of policies based on evidence, many countries struggle to ensure an effective connection between the supply and and the demand for evidence in the decision-making process. In this, Lithuania is no exception.

This report analyses the challenges and capacities for use of evidence in Lithuania, including in regards to regulatory frameworks, and offers concrete policy recommendations to address existing gaps in the light of international best practices. The report draws on the OECD’s expertise on public management and budgeting as well as on regulatory management, evidence, monitoring and evaluation. It is conducted as part of the OECD’s programme of work on evidence informed policy making.

The report identifies a number of cultural, institutional and organisational gaps that hinder the use of evidence for decision making in Lithuania. The report analyses government capacities to supply evidence and use it in decision-making processes. It provides recommendations for strengthening the government’s analytical capacity as part of a broader reform of the civil service, increasing access to evaluations, improving communication of evidence, and promoting policy discussions at the highest political level on the results of strategic foresight, impact assessments, evaluations and spending reviews. It also discusses the use of regulatory management practices and the implications of legislative inflation. Finally, the report discusses the role of the Government Strategic Analysis Centre STRATA in fostering an evidence-informed decision-making culture in Lithuania.

The analysis of the report draws on a wealth of comparative international experiences to promote an evidence- and evaluation-driven culture within the civil service. Its policy recommendations can help Lithuania take a more evidence-informed approach to public governance and, ultimately, deliver better results for citizens. Such an approach can support long-term development, promote trust in government and pave the way for a more productive, innovative green and equitable economy and society.

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