This paper is from Session 5A: Evidence-based policy making
which comes under Topic 5: Statistics education in the disciplines and the workplace
(Monday 14th, 13:45-15:45)
The use of official statistics in evidence based policy making in New Zealand
- Sharleen Forbes (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand)
- Tania Janssen (Statistics New Zealand, New Zealand)
Statistics New Zealand has found in its education initiatives for raising statistical capability that one challenge is making sure data is used the right way. Lack of knowledge can lead to unintentional misuse of statistics. The power of official statistics is used to show policy analysts how to gain better value and make evidence based decisions. Statistics provide the quantitative evidence supporting Government decision making. While not the only form of evidence used in policy making, several examples will be given that demonstrate its critical importance. In the social area statistics have informed dramatic changes in smoking policy over the last fifty years and in the economic area the policy uses of the Consumers Price Index are discussed. Commuter data demonstrates local government level use of Census information. The high cost associated with making wrong policy decisions as a result of not using or misusing statistical information is also discussed.