Evidence Based Policymaking

A Toolkit for Practitioners

By Marga Institute

Chapter 01

Chapter 1 - Introduction to Evidence Based Policymaking

Welcome to the guidebook on making policies using real evidence, not just guesses. Evidence-Based Policymaking (EBPM) is a smart way to make policies using solid facts and information.

Chapter 02

Chapter 2 - Foundations of Evidence-Based Policymaking

At its core, a policy is a course of action adopted and pursued by a government, organization, or individual. It’s essentially a guiding principle used to set direction in an organization or government.

Chapter 03

Chapter 3 - Critical Research in Policy Making

Critical research is instrumental in unraveling the complex web of social, economic, and political elements that underpin various issues. It shines a light on the core reasons behind these issues,

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© 2024 Marga Institute, Sri Lanka

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

This guidebook is intended for educational and policy development purposes. While every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this book, the Marga Institute and the authors assume no responsibility for errors, omissions or damages resulting from the use of the information contained herein.

First Edition, 2024

Published by Marga Institute, Sri Lanka

ISBN: ISBN 978-955-582-140-7


We extend our deepest gratitude to the 14 Civil Society Organization (CSO) partners and The Asia Foundation for their invaluable support and collaboration. Our thanks also go out to the Local Government Authorities from 14 districts across Sri Lanka, whose insights and contributions have been pivotal in the shaping of this guidebook.

We are profoundly thankful to the Marga Research Team for their tireless efforts, dedication, and commitment to excellence. Their work forms the backbone of this publication.

Special appreciation is extended to the community leaders and the public, whose experiences and inputs have been essential in enriching the content of this book. Your stories and challenges have illuminated the path towards effective policymaking.

Our sincere thanks to the translators who have made this guidebook accessible to a broader audience, ensuring that the knowledge contained within transcends linguistic barriers.

Most importantly, we acknowledge the collective effort of all parties involved for sharing their findings with the community and aiding the decision-making process. Your contributions have been instrumental in the advancement of evidence-based policymaking in Sri Lanka.

How to Use This Toolkit 

This toolkit is designed to be a flexible and practical guide to Evidence-based Polic Making which can be used in your daily work. It is not meant to be read cover-to-cover in a single sitting. Instead, think of it as a reference manual filled with powerful strategies and solutions.

Your journey with this toolkit may begin with a specific problem you wish to solve or an area you want to improve. Dip into the relevant sections, explore the tools and concepts, and tailor the advice to fit your unique situation.

The toolkit also provides certain activities and tools which you can use to further improve your understandings of the theories and applications of Evidence-based Policymaking. You can use these tools as many times in your work in a broad variety of settings to easily identify your cause of action at a given time based on the where you are in the decision-making process.

Remember that this toolkit is intended to be used in parallel with its parallel publication, Evidence-Based Policymaking: A Guidebook for Policy Driven by People”. While the toolkit provides you concise practical guidelines on the implementation and usability of Evidence-based Policymaking, the guidebook provides more detailed information into theories, contextual backgrounds, and legal aspects of the practice with academic references.

At the end of each chapter, you will find a QR Code and a weblink which takes you to the MARGA Institute’s online portal of Evidence-based Policymaking Practices which will also provide further information on the concepts presented in the given chapter. Feel free to use this web resource also for your work which can be accessed through any digital device at any given time and location.

If you have any questions, suggestions, or inputs to improve this toolkit or any feedback you would like to share based on your application of this toolkit, please reach out to us through email or post. We remain open to provide support for your initiatives that contribute to the suitable development of our global community.