Stefanie Ettelt

About Stefanie Ettelt

Dr Stefanie Ettelt (DrPH) is Lecturer in Health Policy at the Department for Health Services Research and Policy at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Her interests are in health policy, political decision-making, health system comparisons and the relationship between evidence and policy.

Beware of RCTs of Policy Pilots – The Myth of Easy Compatibility

Policy pilots are often understood to be synonymous with their evaluation. The assumption is that a government would not initiate a pilot if the intention were not to evaluate it. This conflation is most obvious in the notion of the ‘policy experiment’, a term that carries connotations of measuring effectiveness through experimental methods, specifically by using randomised controlled trials (RCTs). In English health policy discourse, with its proximity to clinical medicine, the notion of policy experimentation becomes skewed towards using pilots as a way to assess policy effectiveness in quantifiable terms through RCTs.

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