Evidence- Based Decision-Making – A Review of Key Literature to Inform Development of a Model for the Council of Oman
Evidence-based practice (EBP) has become increasingly used in public policymaking around the world in recent years and has been associated with improved decision-making as well as enhanced government transparency and accountability. Despite growing pressures to adopt EBP and the documented benefits of this approach, however, the limited available evidence suggests that, compared with the healthcare sector, governments generally have been very slow to adopt EBP in policy-making. In the Sultanate of Oman, where the development of modern democracy has been evolving only slowly over recent decades, it seems that current decision-making within the Oman Council may not be well informed by evidence, thus undermining the adoption of democratic processes in this country. This article presents the initial findings from a review of literature conducted for the purpose of developing a Model for Evidence-Based Strategic Decision-Making (MEBSDM) in the Council of Oman. It sets out key findings from the international literature about trends in EBP and the reported barriers to its use, from studies relating to government decision-making and from the healthcare sector, where EBP has been most widely used to date. The limited body of research relating to the use of EBP in Oman is also discussed. In the concluding section, some implications for the adoption of EBP by the Council of Oman are set out, as a precursor the development of the proposed model.