This unique new book systematically explores and demonstrates the potential breadth and value of the contribution that evidence can make to policy, while also highlighting its limitations. * Provides a comprehensive insight into the complex relationship between evidence and policy, arguing that policy should be informed by evidence as far as resources and systems permit, but that policy can rarely be solely based on evidence. * Aims to contribute to a more mutually constructive relationship between researchers and policymakers, by advancing the understanding of how and when evidence can inform policy. * Using informative examples, it demonstrates how national and international research can be used to good effect, while clearly identifying the range of methodologies that are relevant to different areas of policy. * Presenting eleven studies drawn from recent ESRI research projects, available on www.esri.ie/research, it illustrates different aspects of the relationship between evidence and policy, and how these vary by policy area. Written for: * Courses in economics, sociology, political science, governance and social policy, at postgraduate and undergraduate level * Civil servants, politicians, policymakers, researchers and analysts in the public sector, who are looking to understand how to improve the use of evidence in the design of public policy.