Mapping the discourse on evidence-based policy, artificial intelligence, and the ethical practice of policy analysis

Paper by Joshua Newman and Michael Mintrom: “Scholarship on evidence-based policy, a subset of the policy analysis literature, largely assumes information is produced and consumed by humans. However, due to the expansion of artificial intelligence in the public sector, debates no longer capture the full range concerns. Here, we derive a typology of arguments on evidence-based policy that performs two functions: taken separately, the categories serve as directions in which debates may proceed, in light of advances in technology; taken together, the categories act as a set of frames through which the use of evidence in policy making might be understood. Using a case of welfare fraud detection in the Netherlands, we show how the acknowledgement of divergent frames can enable a holistic analysis of evidence use in policy making that considers the ethical issues inherent in automated data processing. We argue that such an analysis will enhance the real-world relevance of the evidence-based policy paradigm….(More)”