Connecting Policy, Research and Practice: What does it mean in practice?


  • Meenakshi Sankar Department of Labour
  • Roberta Hill Centre for Research on Work, Education and Business



In this paper we discuss a case study-based methodology for evaluation and policy development within the Department of Labour (DoL), which was jointly developed with the Centre for Research on Work, Education and Business (WEB Research) between 1997-2002. We illustrate the particular role of research in bridging policy and practice, and discuss our experiences in developing and using this methodology to understand the systemic linkages between regulation, firm behaviour and policy.

By using a developmental research approach (Engestrom, 1996), distributed teams and the eo-construction of research tools, the case study-based research and evaluation methodology has generated expansive learning cycles (ibid.) for government agencies, researchers and stakeholders. Examples are drawn from the work undertaken by the Department of Labour and WEB Research, in particular evaluating Accident Insurance and Employment Regulation The paper examines some of the methodological issues and challenges involved in such an approach; as well as the implications for processes of policy formation, and for contract and project management.


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Author Biography

Meenakshi Sankar, Department of Labour

Senior Analyst for the Labour Market Policy Group