Action 11: Embed a culture of evidence and evaluation

Evidence-informed policy-making contributes to the design and targeting of Government policy. This leads to better outcomes for people, businesses and the public service itself. The public service will continue to develop its capacity to produce analytical evidence, reduce reliance on external bodies and ensure that the results of evaluation and evidence-based analysis is better integrated into policy decision-making, planning and design processes. The Irish Government Economic and Evaluation Service (IGEES), the Reform Evaluation Unit, Government Departments, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, and evaluation units/practitioners across the public service are working to enhance the culture of evidence-informed decision making and evaluation across the public service.

Initiatives and policies being progressed under Our Public Service may be Department or sector specific, cross-departmental or whole-of-Government.

  • support IGEES’s implementation of its Medium Term Strategy to drive the use of evidence informed policy-making across civil/public service;
  • increase public service capacity in data analysis, evaluation and evidence-informed policy making through targeted recruitment and up-skilling of existing staff;
  • support the delivery of Our Public Service 2020 and the wider reform agenda by working with public service organisations to identify and develop outcome and output indicators;
  • support the improved integration of evaluation and public expenditure management processes into the broader whole-of-year budgetary process. This includes the performance budgeting initiative, the Public Spending Code, the spending review process, the Social Impact Assessment Framework and equality budgeting analysis;
  • support the development of a cross-cutting approach to evaluating the implementation and delivery of public policy and services;
  • assess the impact of relevant reform initiatives to develop lessons for new reform initiatives; and,
  • support the development of the NDI and ensure analytical capacity is in place to optimise its use.


Implementation plans were completed by Government Departments and major offices in 2018. The plans were submitted to the Public Service Leadership Board in 2018, and set out initiatives and policies that relate to the 18 actions in Our Public Service.


New initiatives and policies may be commenced on an on-going basis over the lifespan of Our Public Service. In this context, civil and public service organisations report annually to the Reform Evaluation Unit (REU) in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform under a reporting template.

Initiatives being undertaken by non-commercial State Agencies are reported through the relevant parent Government Department. The REU has developed a database to record and monitor progress of the various reported initiatives.

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