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A Collective Analytical Body? The Intermediary Role and Experiences of Government Analysts in Schools and Disability Employment Policy.

Coates, Elizabeth. (2008) A Collective Analytical Body? The Intermediary Role and Experiences of Government Analysts in Schools and Disability Employment Policy. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

The objective of this research was to explore the roles and experiences of government analysts. A consideration of this group was timely given the emphasis on the government's use of evidence in policy in recent years. Further, more needs to be known about the work of intermediaries in the evidence-policy relationship, a broad ranging group to which government analysts arguably belong. This exploratory qualitative research investigated how government analysts understood and managed the relationship between evidence and policy. In addition, the research examined the contributions of different analytical professions to schools and disability employment policy in the UK. To this end, ethnographic fieldwork was conducted in two central government departments - the Department for Education and Skills and the Department for Work and Pensions - between October 2005 and June 2006. This involved participant observation in the respective divisions of each department, over 50 interviews with government social researchers, economists, statisticians and operational researchers, as well as policy officials, and the collation of associated documentary materials. This thesis presents government analysts as part of a wider community of intermediaries, as a 'collective analytical body' unified by their experiences and roles as intermediaries between the policy, practice and external research communities. Using schools and disability employment policy as case studies, the relationships between analysts and policy makers within government are considered. Further, in doing so, the integrative and facilitative strategies employed by analysts in striving towards a process of 'evidence involved policy' are also addressed. In addition, this thesis considers how, in holding an intermediary position, the analysts strove to balance a concurrent commitment to policy relevance and analytical probity. The divergent roles played by, and credence afforded to different analytical professional groups are also explored.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Coates, Elizabeth.
Date : 2008
Additional Information : Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 2008.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 30 Apr 2019 08:07
Last Modified : 20 Aug 2019 15:32
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/851242

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