Preliminary findings from an exploratory study of the database
In February 2020, when many parts of world were taking unprecedented measures to try to control the spread of the SARS CoV-2 coronavirus, INGSA turned to its global community for help to understand the evolving situation. As always, INGSA is especially interested in the evidence that lies behind the various policy decisions, and the pathways from evidence-to-policy.
Together with academic partners at the University of Auckland and the University of Sheffield, in collaboration with our IDRC-funded regional chapters, and with seed funding by the Fonds to de Recherche du Quebec and the World Universities Network, the INGSA executive and secretariat devised a mixed methods research project to examine the formulation of policy responses to the pandemic.
Phase 1 of this project comprised ‘citizen’-social-science that harness the enthusiasm, expertise and local knowledge of over 100 volunteer rapporteurs from across the INGSA network globally. With their help and commitment, we launched the INGSA Evidence-to-Policy Tracker. Volunteers used an online data-entry form to log information about the evidence and decision-making dynamics behind their countries’ key Covid policy responses.
The aim of this study is not to compare and assess the success of these interventions, but rather to compare the various ways in which evidence has been marshalled and applied. While there are now many useful trackers, INGSA uniquely complements these Covid policy trackers by seeking to unpack the formulation of evidence rather than to take it for granted, and to examine the evidence-to-policy pathways through this kind of tool.