Session 7.3: Science for policy making – how to bridge the worlds of science and policymaking?
In this workshop we would like to explore the current understanding of the connection between knowledge and policy making, by examining examples within the (water)domain of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Watermanagement in the Netherlands. Our Ministry – together with other levels of government, industry and society- is responsible for a broad range of water policies from safety against flooding and climate adaptation to water quality and fresh water supply. The WUR, both the academic and the applied research units, is an important partner for the government when it comes to providing knowledge for policy making and policy implementation.
Central question in our exploration is: how to organize/institutionalize the best availability, usability and use of knowledge in the process of preparing policy options respectively the process of implementing policy measures?
The workshop focusses on instruments and methods used in the development and use of (existing) knowledge, thus connecting knowledge (as generated by universities and public knowledge institutes) and strategic policymaking processes within the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment.
Important questions we will address: how to be prepared for future, long term questions, how to bridge the long term challenges with the short term actions? What factors should we take into account regarding the usability and use of knowledge, which best practices are usable in different domains and different phases of policymaking processes. How can we best equip “boundary workers”: people who in themselves bridge the worlds of knowledge and policymaking?
The aim is to find ways to facilitate a more effective implementation/ uptake of knowledge in the policy design and implementation process. Knowledge can reduce uncertainties about the future. We have to take into account that a linear arrangement of these processes – from agenda setting to formulating policy options to policy implementation and evaluation – is not feasible.
The session design is as follows:
– A short introductory presentation “setting the scene” on the session, with an framework of the current context, practice and organization of knowledge in the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment.
– Pitches of four examples where the Ministry and the WUR already cooperate: what are practices, instruments and methods used with regard to bridging the worlds of science and policy making? We invite all participants of the session to comment on the presentations and to enrich the discussion with examples of their own.
– We would like to conclude the session by sharing ideas on the way forward of knowledge implementation: what are shared challenges and dilemma’s, what are general conclusions on the best instruments and methods to bridge the worlds of knowledge and policymaking, where can we learn and grow?
Chair - L.F.M. van den Aarsen