RIETI Report November 2018

Effect of Shadow Education Vouchers and the Implications for Evidence-based Policymaking

As evidence-based policymaking (EBPM) has become widespread overseas, Japan is also taking decisive action, with several major policies taken to advance EBPM in its decision making. RIETI has followed in line with this, and established a new framework for EBPM promotion with research projects, symposiums, and other events where researchers can share their findings on this pivotal issue. In the November issue of the RIETI Report, we present "Effect Analysis of Shadow Education Vouchers and the Implications for EBPM" by Consulting Fellow Yohei Kobayashi, who discusses his analysis of shadow education vouchers introduced by Chance for Children (CFC) and summarizes the implications for EBPM which have become apparent from the effect analysis.

Kobayashi first gives an overview of the shadow education voucher system by CFC, and discusses the difficulty of measuring the effects of such programs targeting children. He then analyzes the effects of the shadow education voucher system, showing a 4.5 deviation level increase for academic achievement as a result. Finally, he looks at the implications of the shadow education vouchers on EBPM. Kobayashi concludes that as evidence is accumulated, it will be possible to reduce the uncertainty involved in decision making at the time of policy formation, and once the effects become clear, the measures may also be improved. Given these conditions, we can build a better system through the cooperation of politicians, administrative officials, and outside researchers.

This month's featured article

Effect of Shadow Education Vouchers and the Implications for Evidence-based Policymaking

KOBAYASHI YoheiConsulting Fellow, RIETI

In recent years, evidence-based policymaking (EBPM) has become widespread overseas (Note 1). In Japan, also, the Statistical Reform Promotion Council announced its final recommendation in May 2017 indicating the basic policy for the promoting EBPM in Japan. In conjunction with this, the EBPM Promotion Committee was launched in August 2017, and, starting from the current fiscal year, the Director-General for Evidence-based Policymaking was appointed at each ministry.

Following these government policies, RIETI established a new framework for EBPM promotion to function as a hub for policy practitioners and researchers to conduct consulting activities during the process of policy formation and ex-post evaluation, among others, and reinforce its initiatives relating to EBPM. Furthermore, the study group of the Promoting Evidence-based Policy in Japan project, headed by Visiting Fellow Kazuo Yamaguchi, has been providing opportunities for vigorous discussions between the participants from various research organizations and government agencies, and continuing research into how to advance EBPM in Japan based on case studies from both Japan and abroad. In December 2017, the RIETI EBPM Symposium "Toward the Promotion of Evidence-based Policymaking" was held, and experts from various organizations exchanged opinions on how to disseminate and utilize EBPM in Japan by presenting actual cases from both Japan and abroad.

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