Communicating Science for Policy

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Presented by John Young (ODI - j.young@odi.org.uk) and David Dickson (Scidev.net - david.dickson@scidev.net) at the Public Engagement Workshop, 2-5 Dec. 2008, KwaZulu-Natal South Africa, http://scienceincommunity.wordpress.com/

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  • Communicating Science for Policy

    1. 1. Communicating Science for Policy John Young [email_address] David Dickson [email_address]
    2. 2. A study for SciDev.Net <ul><li>How do policymakers access scientific knowledge? </li></ul><ul><li>Systematic literature review: 42 key documents </li></ul><ul><li>Expert interviews: 31 experts </li></ul><ul><li>Country case studies: 7 countries: China, India, Cambodia, Ghana, Zambia, Nicaragua & Bolivia </li></ul><ul><li>Electronic survey: > 600 respondents </li></ul>
    3. 3. Literature review: 6 tensions <ul><li>Politicisation of science vs scientisation of policy. </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Citizen’ scientists vs neutral scientists. </li></ul><ul><li>The demand for certainty vs scientific reality of uncertainty. </li></ul><ul><li>Divergent motivations and time-frames of scientists and policy-makers. </li></ul><ul><li>Specialised expertise vs knowledge democracy. </li></ul><ul><li>Between Western-driven science and indigenous knowledge. </li></ul>
    4. 4. Country study findings <ul><li>Limited integration of scientific knowledge into policy. </li></ul><ul><li>Competing sources of evidence </li></ul><ul><li>Common tensions between researcher and policy maker interests </li></ul><ul><li>Government officials are key players (cf legislators) </li></ul><ul><li>Multinational institutions influential </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge brokers and translators frequently involved </li></ul>
    5. 5. International survey Type of Respondents No. % Researchers 288 47% Intermediaries 214 35% Policy Makers 113 18% Sub-national policy makers 41 7% Regional Representation No. % Sub-Saharan Africa 120 19% South Asia 110 18% Latin America 66 11% MENA 41 7% China and S.E. Asia 21 3% Developing Countries Total 394 64% Global North 224 36% Type of Organisation No. % Academic institution 202 33% Science-related ministry 107 17% NGO/advocacy group 87 14% Industry 25 4% Multilateral 25 4% Media organisation 24 4% Non-science related ministry 23 4% International scientific panel 8 2% Legislature 7 1% Political advisory 4 0.5%
    6. 6. Most were dissatisfied!
    7. 7. Main obstacles to access Biggest Obstacle in Developing Countries Particularly China and SE Asia (70% selected as obstacle) Second biggest obstacle in dev. countries esp. China and SE Asia (57%) All obstacles were cited more often in a developing country context, across regions. Biggest obstacles in Developed Countries (27% and 24% respectively)
    8. 8. Obstacles to Uptake
    9. 9. Especially in the South!
    10. 10. Ministries are different
    11. 11. What should scientists provide?
    12. 12. Effective Mediators
    13. 13. Intermediary organisations…
    14. 14. Recommendations <ul><li>Promote role of intermediaries </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify actors and stimulate networks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Represent Scientists or Policy Makers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disseminate Information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Capacity Building </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Rethink how to measure impact </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Direct policy change </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conceptual influence </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. Further information www.odi.org.uk/RAPID/Publications/RAPID_WP_294.html Or contact Nicola Jones (n.jones@odi.org.uk)

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