No. 31




Studies Commissioned by State Agencies as Information Resource for Developing Evidence-Based Policies

10 June 2015


RiTo No. 31, 2015

The studies commissioned by the state, particularly in the social sphere, have a special place in the process of shaping knowledge-based decisions and evidencebased policies.

The 2011 and 2015 OECD reports and opinions on the administrative capacity programme draw attention to the underuse of the results of scientifi research and other information by the Estonian authorities.

One of the reasons behind the underuse is that there are no professional information specialists to provide information support services and mediate information to offiials.

Access problems could be another reason behind the modest use of scientifi research.

Both the 2015 audit report of the State Audit Offie and the analyses conducted by the Institute of Information Studies of Tallinn University (2014, 2015) suggest that studies are more readily available on web pages of state authorities than before, yet these are often dispersed and fragmented. It can be diffiult to fid studies or get a comprehensive idea of what has been studied at all, as the studies might be set out in the form of long lists, or be interspersed among analyses, dossiers or training materials.

Search for a particular study might be successful through the Google browser, but only while the relevant fie remains uploaded on a web page. The analysis showed that after the introduction of new web page formats, many older studies have disappeared from the homepages of authorities.

Striving towards a knowledge-based society and evidence-based decisions demands a change in the offiial attitude towards scientifi research, which should be viewed as an important national information resource next to legal acts, statistics and databases.

Collecting the studies commissioned by the state authorities into one common repository would make these a readily accessible and open national information resource.

Full article in Estonian