Idea the effectiveness of government interventions by analyzing citizen

Idea of looking for evidence based data driven solutions is influencing decision makers in all sectors, including public administration. Fueling it further are the rapid social changes where citizen’s expectations of what government should deliver are rising.


Thus, to live up to expectations and maintain credibility, governments need and are looking for new breed of policy experts who can devise informed policies harnessing modern advances in computation .While this new-age public policy is still at developmental stage, there are proven cases where it has already made its mark and is expected to grow in its adaption in near future. An example featuring proven cases is the book Donald F. Kettl’s book Little Bites of Big Data for Public Policy which effectively persuades the readers, providing valuable examples of how policy can be made better with evidence. A case of ground level usage is the initiative of government of United Kingdom where a Behavioral Insights team was formed in 2010 to improve the effectiveness of government interventions by analyzing citizen behavior. Impact of small changes, like adjustments in the language and tone of the letter that the tax department sends to delinquent taxpayers had been tested using randomized control trials (RCT), long used in the medical field but only now gaining favor in the public sector.The team has also identified interventions expected to save the UK government at least £300 million over the next five years. But the wholesome impact of this superior approach to public policy is encapsulated in a 13 minute TEDx talk delivered in February, 2017 by G.T. Bynum, mayor of Tulsa, U.S.A. since 2016, where he narrated his story of winning elections using trackable goals and replacing bipartisanship with policy to win over voters. To substantiate his case, he enumerated examples across various level of government and sectors of applications, like PART tool developed to evaluate and score over 1000 federal programs for project management and budget funding, or similar principle applied to high education sector to maintain affordable student tuition at Purdue University, or successfully fighting crime in New York by collecting crime statistics at hourly basis applying real data points and deploying resources quickly, or addressing housing issues in Atlanta or finally the case of his own city Tulsa, where evidence, data and evaluation are being used to increase per capita income,population and improve high school graduation rates. All these encouraging examples provide a glimpse into future of public policy where new design thinking like behavioral insights, blended discliplinary approach( like use of RCTs used in medical field), risk taking and experimental nature with collaborations between governments, non-profit research and private sector will drive the sector to benefit citizens.

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