Canberra Evalution Forum: using evaluations to inform recommendations for reform

Join the Canberra Evaluation Forum and Jenny Gordon to discuss using evalutations to inform recommendations for reform

Evaluation is central to evidence-based policy making. But how are evaluations used in practice to inform recommendations for policy? What does the Productivity Commission look for as it gathers up evidence when tasked with developing reforms?

The Commission’s inquiries and studies, range across many portfolio areas from childcare to mineral exploration to fisheries. In each case the policy questions differ, as does the nature of the evidence required to inform decisions. Before the event evaluations of proposed changes to policies and programs is a core part of the Commission’s work, as policy change is aimed at delivering improvements in community-wide wellbeing. It is ex-post evaluations, where cause and effect have been established and measured, that provides the best information for ex-ante evaluation. This discussion will draw on examples from the Commission’s diverse work program to illustrate how evaluations have been used to inform recommendations for reform.

Jenny Gordon is the Principal Advisor Research at the Productivity Commission, where she oversees the Commission’s research program and provides advice and quality assurance for research and inquiry work across both the Melbourne and Canberra Offices. She joined the Commission in March 2008, after 14 years at the Centre for International Economics.  six as a Director and partner in the firm. Jenny completed a PhD in economics from Harvard University in 1993, and taught macroeconomics and econometrics. Prior to undertaking her PhD, Jenny taught at Macquarie University.

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Department of Finance, Canberra