Journal of Undergraduate Research


policy decisions, evidence-based policy making, government officials


Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Political Science


Important policy decisions, that affect lives all around the world, are often made without consulting the best available evidence. Many governments have called for an increase in evidence-based policy making in an effort to make policies more effective and based on research. From the baseline survey we collected we found that while 92% of government officials said they thought using evidenced based reports would improve the quality of their work, only 8% reported that they use evidence based reports in all of their policy decisions. Academics and program evaluators have amassed a large knowledge base on the effectiveness of public programs but government officials rarely consult this evidence. This research looks at how the delivery of information can affect policymakers’ use of academic findings. Specifically, we look at the behavior of 368 government officials from Peru, Tanzania, and India as they interact with different versions of a website database containing summaries of impact evidence of various development related policies. This project looks at how adding game elements such as a quiz mode, user points, and scoreboards, to the website can motivate policy makers in developing countries to engage more deeply with this information.