Institutionalizing an Evidence-based Approach to Policy Making within the Government of Tamil Nadu
The Government of Tamil Nadu entered into a comprehensive partnership with J-PAL SA at IFMR in 2014 with the stated goal of institutionalizing an evidence-based policy making. This requires a holistic approach including a commitment to results, an openness to reviewing failures, strengthening technical capabilities of staff as well as necessary infrastructure to collect, analyze and use relevant and credible data in a timely manner. Recognizing this, the Government of Tamil Nadu has entered into a technical advisory engagement with J-PAL SA to bring about changes in departmental processes, standards and mindsets to adopt data-driven decision making at all levels within the government. This engagement implemented a series of measures aimed at greater institutional links between researchers and policymakers, systematically strengthening the quality of data from evaluations and other forms of measurement, and finally conceptualizing a data analytics initiative that could pool such data for further policy action. For more on J-PAL South Asia's partnership with the Government of Tamil Nadu, see this news story from May 2016, this November 2017 op-ed by J-PAL Executive Director Iqbal Dhaliwal in Livemint, and this blog post from January 2018.