copy the linklink copied! Promoting the use of policy evaluations

The use of policy evaluation plays an important role as a feedback loop in the policy cycle, both ex ante to gauge the impact of future initiatives, and ex post to assess the results and outcomes of policy implementation. It helps to assess policy outcomes, impacts, and to connect them with the decisions of policy makers, facilitating mutual learning with a strong focus on accountability. Policy evaluations are demanding in terms of time, human and financial resources. Governments, therefore, face the task of ensuring that the invested resources generate public value by promoting the use of findings in decision-making.

The majority of OECD countries have developed mechanisms to promote the use of policy evaluation findings (e.g. incorporation of findings in the budget cycle, discussion at the Council of Ministers), except Belgium, the Czech Republic, Iceland, Slovenia, Spain, and Turkey. Japan and Mexico have currently five different mechanisms in place to promote the use of policy findings, and Latvia has four. Eight OECD countries have two mechanisms in place and eight have three. Nine countries have one single mechanism in place.

Twenty-one countries explicitly incorporate evaluation findings into the budget cycle. This is the sole mechanism for promoting their use in France, Israel, Sweden and the United Kingdom. In Canada, findings are required to inform the Treasury Board decisions on expenditure and allocation as they are part of the management accountability framework.

The results are brought for consideration at the highest political level in 11 countries, and this is the only mechanism to promote their use in Hungary and Lithuania. In Korea, for instance, line ministries inform the Council of Ministers on the implementation of specific items requiring improvement according to the annual evaluation results. The United States has created an Interagency Council on Evaluation Policy, co-chaired by the Office on Management and Budget (OMB and the Department of Labour, composed of about ten high-capacity officers from government agencies, who every month to discuss evaluation results.

A management response mechanism exists in ten countries in order to promote the use of policy findings, and it is the only way of doing so in New Zealand. Eleven OECD countries (Estonia, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Latvia, Mexico, Norway, Poland, the United Kingdom and the United States) use co-ordination platforms across government for such purpose. Norway has chosen it to be the only way to promote the use of findings.

In eight of those countries, online platforms share evaluation findings with practitioners and local governments. In Norway, for instance, the creation of the web service that gathers the findings of evaluations carried out by the central government in one place aims to increase the use of evidence in all state policy areas and future evaluations. The platforms aim to ensure that evidence is directed to inform policy design in seven countries. Other mechanisms, such as the mapping of the evidence brokerage function are less used, although Estonia and the United States stand out in this area. In Germany and Mexico, the co-ordination platforms serve four different functions. In Poland and Japan, they serve none of the aforementioned functions.

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Methodology and definitions

The data come from the OECD survey on Policy evaluation launched in May 2018. Survey respondents were OECD countries and selected economies, from the centre of government and line ministries (health ministry, public sector reform ministry, and a third, optional, line ministry).

Policy evaluation is defined in the survey as the structured and objective assessment of an ongoing or completed policy or reform initiative, its design, implementation and results. The aim is to determine the relevance and fulfilment of objectives, efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability, etc. Evaluation also refers to the process of determining the worth or significance of a policy.

Further reading

OECD (forthcoming), Institutionalisation, Quality and Use of Policy Evaluation: Governance Lessons from Countries’ Experience, OECD Publishing, Paris

OECD (2019) Building Capacity for Evidence Informed Policy Making, lessons from the countries experience, OECD Publishing, Paris.

OECD (2018), Survey on Policy Evaluation, OECD Publishing, Paris,

Figure notes

On data for Israel, see Data are not available for Luxembourg.

4.11 Data reflect responses to the question “How does your government promote the use of the findings of policy evaluations?”

4.12 Data reflect responses to the question “What functions are being carried out by this co-ordination platform?”

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4.11. Mechanisms to promote the use of the findings of policy evaluations in OECD countries, 2018


Incorporating evaluation findings into the budget cycle

Discussing findings at the Council of Ministers

Co-ordination platform to promote the use of evaluation

Management response mechanism in institutions

Grading system on the robustness of findings


No specific initiatives






Czech Republic


















New Zealand




Slovak Republic






United Kingdom

United States

OECD Total








⚫ Yes








○ No










Costa Rica

Source: OECD (2018) Survey on Policy Evaluation


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4.12. Number of functions carried out by the co-ordination platform across government to promote the use of the findings of policy evaluations in policy making, 2018
4.12. Number of functions carried out by the co-ordination platform across government to promote the use of the findings of policy evaluations in policy making, 2018

Source: OECD (2018) Survey on Policy Evaluation


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Promoting the use of policy evaluations