March 1, 2010

Focusing on quality: Report from the CPB Review Committee 2010

Internationale visitatiecommissie heeft CPB doorgelicht

Press release
Een internationale wetenschappelijke visitatiecommissie die het Centraal Planbureau heeft onderzocht, concludeert dat het CPB onderzoek van hoge kwaliteit levert en daarmee de kloof overbrugt tussen wetenschappelijk onderzoek en het beleidsproces.

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Read here the accompanying press release.

CPB has a clear value-added for policy making in the Netherlands, setting a standard for intellectual discipline in what could otherwise be disparate political debates; the impact of its publications appears to be good.

The Committee makes a number of recommendations. Scientific quality could be further enhanced by a more systematic quality control (amongst others through publishing in academic journals) and by reallocating resources from model building to other forms of policy-relevant empirical work. CPB should add to its role in Dutch policy debate by educating policy makers, the media, and the wider public on the uncertainties involved in forecasting and cost-benefit analysis. The Committee urges CPB management to better gear the different CPB publications series to the needs of the intended audiences. The Committee warns against the danger of spreading activities too thinly and recommends reviewing the procedures to draw up the work plans, including the (application of) criteria for programme and project selection and termination. Reducing the level of forecasting detail could free up resources to further improve forecast quality/accuracy or to be spent elsewhere. Finally, the Committee thinks there is room for improving the organisational structure and the coordination of the sectors.