Registers of Practices as an Evidence-Based Social Policy Mechanism for Child Welfare: An Analysis of International Experience



The article analyses the international experience of establishing evidence-based practice registers. Such registers are considered not as a “container” of once and for all selected “best practices”, but as a permanent mechanism of evidence-based social policy. Using the material of registers developed in the USA and the UK, the analysis of the most important structural components of the registers is carried out, with the main focus on the methodology and procedure of practice selection. The authors question the hierarchy of research methodologies and show that experimental design (randomized controlled trials) can be recognized as the “gold standard” of research only under certain conditions — if a linear, simple theory of change is adopted, while the adoption of a complex theory of change requires other research strategies and methods. Based on the analysis, several priority tasks are formulated that need to be addressed in order for the national register of practices being created in Russia to comply with the principles of evidence-based social policy.

General Information

Keywords: Evidence-based practice, evidence-based practice registers, effectiveness of psychological and social practices, social change, evidence-based social policy

Journal rubric: General Psychology

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Busygina N.P., Podushkina T.G., Freik N.V. Registers of Practices as an Evidence-Based Social Policy Mechanism for Child Welfare: An Analysis of International Experience [Elektronnyi resurs]. Sotsial’nye nauki i detstvo = Social Sciences and Childhood, 2021. Vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 7–23. DOI: 10.17759/ssc.2021020101. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


  1. Busygina N.P., Podushkina T.G., Stanilevskii V.V. Dokazatel’nyi podkhod v sotsial’noi sfere: osnovnye poniatiia i printsipy, istoriia, perspektivy [Elektronnyi resurs] [Evidence-Based Approach in the Social Area: Basic Concepts and Guidelines, History, Prospects]. Sotsial’nye nauki i detstvo = Social Sciences and Childhood, 2020. Vol. 1, no 1, pp. 8—26. DOI:10.17759/ssc.2020010101. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.).
  2. Reestry na osnove dokazatel’nogo podkhoda: obzor mezhdunarodnogo opyta [Elektronnyi resurs] [Evidence-Based Registries: A Review of International Experience]. Sotsial’nye rezul’taty i pokazateli: podgotovleno ANO «Evoliutsiia i Filantropiia» po zakazu Fonda Timchenko [Social outputs and impacts, prepared by NPO “Evolution and Philanthropy”, commissioned by Timchenko Fund], 2018. Available at:Реестры_evidence-based.pdf (Accessed 02.05.2021).
  3. Standart dokazatel’nosti social’nykh praktik v sfere detstva [Elektronnyi resurs] [Standards of Evidence for Psychosocial Practices for Children]. Ob ocenke prosto: podgotovleno ANO «Evoljuciia i Filantropiia» [On Assessment Simply, prepared by NPO “Evolution and Philanthropy”], august, 2018. Available at: (Accessed 02.05.2021).
  4. Drisko J., Grady M. Evidence-Based Practice. New York: Springer, 2012.
  5. Ebrahim A. Measuring Social Change: Performance and Accountability in a Complex World. Stanford University Press, 2019. 311 p.
  6. Ebrahim A., Rangan V.K. What Impact: A Framework for Measuring the Scale and Scope of Social Performance. California Management Review, 2014. Vol. 56(3), pp. 118—141.
  7. Evidence-Based Medicine Working Group Evidence-based medicine. A new approach to teaching the practice of medicine. JAMA, 1992. Vol. 268(17), pp. 2420—2425.
  8. Evidence-Based Practice in Psychology. American Psychologist, 2006. Vol. 61(4), pp. 271—285.
  9. Gambrill E.D. Evidence-Based Practice: An Alternative to Authority-Based Practice.   Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Human Services, 2018. Vol. 99(3), pp. 283—294. DOI:10.1177/1044389418786699
  10. Kozleski E.B. The Uses of Qualitative Research: Powerful Methods to Inform Evidence-Based Pratice in Education. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 2017. Vol. 42(1), pp. 19—32.
  11. Liamputtong, P. Qualitative Research Methodology and Evidence-Based Practice in Public Health. In P. Liamputtong (Ed.) Public Health: Local and Global Perspectives, 2016, pp. 171—187.
  12. Mullen E.J. Reconsidering the “Idea” of Evidence in Evidence-Based Policy & Practice. European Journal of Social Work, 2015, pp. 310—335.
  13. Nutley S.M., Powell A.E., Davies H.T.O. What Counts as Good Evidence. London: Alliance for Useful Evidence, 2013. 40 p.
  14. Pearson A. Evidence-Based Healthcare and Qualitative Research. Journal of Research in Nursing, 2010. Vol. 15(6), pp. 489—493.
  15. Roberts A.R., Yeager K.R., Regehr Ch. Bridging Evidence-Based Health Care and Social Work: How to Search For, Develop and Use Evidence-Based Studies. In Roberts A.R., Yeager K.R. (Eds.) Foundations of Evidence-Based Social Work Practice. Oxford University Press, 2006, pp. 3—20.
  16. Rosenthal R.N. Overview of Evidence-Based Practices. In Roberts A.R., Yeager K.R. (Eds.) Foundations of Evidence-Based Social Work Practice. Oxford University Press, 2006, pp. 67—80.
  17. Sackett D.L., Rosenberg W.M., Gray J.A., Haynes R.B., Richardson W.S. Evidence-Based Medicine: What It Is and What It Isn’t. British Medical Journal, 1996. Vol. 312(7023), pp. 71—72.
  18. Thyer B.A. What Is Evidence-Based Practice? In Roberts A.R., Yeager K.R. (Eds.) Foundations of Evidence-Based Social Work Practice. Oxford University Press, 2006, pp. 35—46.
  19. Torrey W.C., Drake R.E., Dicxon L., Burns B.J., Flynn L., Rush A.J. et al. Implementing Evidence- Based Practices for Persons with Severe Mental Illnesses. Psychiatric Services, 2001. Vol. 52, pp. 45—50.
  20. Zwet R van der. Implementing Evidence-Based Practice in Social Work: A Shared Responsibility. Ipskamp Drukkers BV, Enschede, the Netherlands, 2018. 172 p.

Information About the Authors

Natalya P. Busygina, PhD in Psychology, Assistant Professor, Department of Counselling and Clinical Psychology, Chair of Individual and Group Psychotherapy, Moscow State University of Psychology an Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Tatiana G. Podushkina, Head of the Sector «Center for Evidence-Based Social Design», Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Nataliya V. Freik, independent researcher, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



Total: 874
Previous month: 17
Current month: 14


Total: 333
Previous month: 13
Current month: 18