Bayesian Methods for Social Policy Research and Evaluation
OPRE’s 2017 Methods Meeting on Bayesian methods encouraged attendees to think critically about commonly used statistical methods and approaches. The meeting introduced Bayesian methods as an alternative to support evaluation design and analysis and decisionmaking. This brief, authored by Rachel Holzwart and Debra Wright, summarizes key discussion topics from that meeting. It describes the advantages and disadvantages of Bayesian methods, Bayesian model building and evaluation, examples of Bayesian applications in the field, and how social policy researchers and stakeholders can use Bayesian methods to better support decisionmaking.